by Angela Posey-Arnold
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“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20 KJV)
For hundreds, possibly thousands of years artist have been inspired to paint portraits of Jesus. Many of these famous ones grace the walls of our churches reminding us of different scriptures.
I have always been awe inspired by the painting reflecting Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. But my favorite has always been the one where Jesus stands at the door and knocks.
I do not remember the first time I saw it. I have always known it. For many years this portrait hung in the First United Methodist Church Sanctuary. In my parent’s wedding pictures the portrait is in the background. When the Sanctuary was renovated in the 1970s the painting was moved to the bridal room.
In my wedding pictures made before the service with my family, the portrait is in the background. Reminding me that Jesus is always there and always has been.
Years later when my brother became the Pastor of New Harmony United Methodist Church in Live Oak, Florida my heart filled to overflowing on my first visit. There behind him as he preached was the picture of Jesus at the door, knocking.
As a child I felt comfort from the picture and the knowledge that Jesus is always with me. It has always reminded me how close Jesus is. Later in my life I learned from Scripture and realized that Jesus was actually knocking on the door and the door was representative of our hearts. When I invited Him into my heart I understood the significance.
Anytime I see this famous portrait I feel comfort and assurance that He loves me. I feel thankful that He chose my door to knock on. He loves me so much that He came to my door, my heart. He came in to stay with me.
A few years ago I realized after reading a story about the painting that the artist did not paint a door knob on Jesus’ side of the door. I had never noticed that. The door knob is on the inside of the door. The significance of that is that it is up to us to hear Him knocking and open the door.
Jesus isn’t standing there banging on the door or leaning on the bell. He isn’t forcing His way in. He is just gently and patiently knocking on the door. When we open the door to Him our lives are forever changed. I can only imagine the precious look on His face when we open the door. One by one the doors open and the love flows in.
Many times in our lives we have to open the door and kick Satan out. We have to remind him that Jesus lives in our heart and there is no room for him. Jesus was invited in and the devil was not. Jesus comes in to save and to give us life eternal.
At a recent Sunday night service at our church the Pastor put a different spin and possibly a prophetic meaning to the portrait of Jesus standing at the door, knocking. The Pastor’s message made me think of the portrait in a different way, yet again. I still believe and hold on to all the lessons I have learned from this one verse of Scripture. But could it be that the door is representative of something else too? Could it be that the door is representing the doors to our churches today? Could it possibly be that in some churches Jesus is outside the doors knocking?
It is hard to think that in some of our churches that Jesus is being closed out of His own church. It could be reality. This concept has raised some questions in my mind. Living in Alabama all my life I’ve always thought that if things like this were happening—it certainly wasn’t happening in Alabama. But then I was reminded of a conversation that I had with a man after Easter.
While talking to him he told me that he doesn’t regularly attend church but that He did love Jesus. He said that he was saved years ago. He said that he desired to go to church but couldn’t find a church where he felt comfortable. Then he recalled the experience he had on Easter the Sunday before. He doubted that he would go back and now I see why.
He said that he heard of this church from a friend and decided to attend Easter services there. It was one of the larger Baptist Churches in our city. To his surprise and mine he said that on Easter Sunday Jesus was never mentioned.
I invited him to our church and assured him that Jesus is always there, praised and worshipped. I could not get over how an Easter Sunday service could not be all about Jesus. How could a Christian church have any service without Jesus? How could they have a worship service and never mention His name, the Cross or the Blood? Could it be that Jesus was outside, knocking and no one was hearing Him? I don’t understand this and it is very troubling to consider.
If Jesus is not welcomed and present in the worship at your church, please seek a Bible believing, Jesus loving church where He is the leader.
He won’t always stand there and knock. One day, and it could be today, He will stop knocking because He will be coming back. He is coming to get His church. Make sure that your church is His church.
You’ll probably find the portrait hanging in that church, somewhere.
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Great article Angela, lots for us here. I remember when I was a prayer group leader...I got a word that Lord Jesus was knocking on someone's heart. I then saw the Lord go upto the windows of a house and everywhere knocking to enter in and then finally He left. It reminds me of what you said. The person kept his heart closed. Yes indeed it would be a terrible day when He moves away. I hope people are careful for His patience may run out or worse still we may die and loose our chance.Keep writing.