Many of us have probably seen a variation of the painting of Jesus standing at a large wooden door knocking. Many churches have one hanging on a wall somewhere in their building. Some have possibly never taken a moment to look at it closely, and honestly, really grasp the meaning of some of the symbolism in the picture.
The original version of this painting was done by a man named William Holman Hunt in the 19th Century, and the painting that he did brought attention to a detail that he explained in a beautiful way. I want to share that way with you today.
As you can see in the picture, “The Light of the World”, Jesus is standing at the door knocking.
The story is told that someone asked Hunt if he forgot something, pointing out that the handle on the door was missing. I believe Hunt’s reply is something that we all need to understand today in our own Christian walk…it is straight out of scripture and revealed much more meaning behind the painting than folks knew.
Hunt’s reply was simple, and came from Revelation 3:20 where the scripture says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear me and opens the door, I will come in…” Hunt’s reply was, “No, it is not missing – The handle is on the inside.”
Hunt’s painting had grasped what this verse in Revelation was saying to each of us…I am at the door, but it is up to you to make the decision to open it…
Jesus knocks daily at our heart’s door until we take the initiative and open it to him. The scripture plainly says here that Jesus is standing at the door knocking…he also says that if any one hears his voice…so not only is he knocking, he is calling out to us to open the door. He has come all the way to the doorstep of our hearts, now it is in our hands on what to do next.
He says to us, “Let me in, I want to eat with you, please……Open the door.”
It is on us to open the door…there is no handle on the outside, it is on the inside as Hunt said. It is not up to the Savior to push his way into our hearts, he has done everything to get to our doorstep and asks us to simply open the door.
There are many today who know who Jesus is. They say they believe in him, they even say that they believe in what he came to do…but they continue to stand behind the door and wait to open it. Jesus has come to us, he shed his own blood in his traveling, he has journeyed to our heart’s door and is now knocking and calling out to us, but he cannot and will not open the door; it is our job.
When you open the door to someone, you are inviting them into your home; Jesus wants to be invited in…so, will you open the door to him? Remember, the handle is on the inside.