So a few months ago, my front doorbell stopped working. But don’t worry, I dealt with the situation quickly and decisively. (See the photo at left.)
The post-it note is merely temporary, but as an engineer friend of mind once quipped, ‘There’s nothing as permanent as something that’s temporary.’
Regardless of how temporary the situation actually is (or isn’t), my family and I have become quite familiar with the sound of people knocking on the door. And maybe that’s why a few passages in the Bible about knocking have caught my attention lately.
The word ‘knock’ appears about a dozen times times in the New International Version of the Bible – from a lover’s midnight knock on the door in the Song of Songs to the frightened knocking of the knees of the king in Daniel 5.
There’s a slightly silly story in Acts 12, where Rhoda the servant is so excited that Peter is knocking on the door that she runs off to tell the other disciples the great news – rather than opening the door for him.
I wonder if we do that sometimes with Jesus. Does He knock on our doors, and find us so surprised, flummoxed and overjoyed that it’s Him that, without realizing it, we fail to let Him in, or ask Him what He wants?
We really shouldn’t be that surprised when Jesus knocks. After all, in Revelation 3:20, Jesus says ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.’
And while the knocking-opening roles are reversed, that image is similar to the one painted in the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus famously declares, ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.’ (Matthew 7:7)
With these verses placed side by side, I’m tempted to get bogged down in trying to understand who actually does the knocking in this relationship, me or Jesus. But instead, I think I’ll focus on the openness and accessibility that both verses unmistakably point toward and be comforted and encouraged.
However, Luke 13:22-30 puts God’s willingness to open the door for us in a very different light:
Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ – Luke 13:25
More on that tomorrow. For now …
Peace be with you.
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