“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 him, and he with me.”
This verse comes close to the tail end of Jesus’ rebuke of the church of Laodicea. Sadly, he finds nothing good to say to them. (Can you imagine the Lord looking at you, and through you, and coming up blank for good things to say? Ouch.) It seems that they were a bunch of phonies, going through the motions but missing the dance. They were using electricity, but the lights weren’t on, if you know what I mean.
I see in this verse a mirror image of Genesis 3.8-9: “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ ”
First of all, God’s people have alienated themselves from Him by their worldly behavior, and that has cause a breech in the relationship. It seems that they don’t care, when it comes right down to it, about their commitment to Christ. They take it as far as they want instead of as far as God asks. It’s a half-hearted faith that, frankly, makes God sick. But they are deceiving themselves into thinking they’re doing just fine, when they just aren’t catching on to what God sees when he looks at them. It was true of Adam and Eve; it was true of the Laodiceans; we need to take stock if it is true of us. Let every person examine themselves.
Secondly, he, in response, has taken the initiative to seek them out and pursue a path of reconciliation with them so that the breech is undone. He lives to seek and to save those who are lost. Among the thousands of things we can learn from the stories of Jesus in the gospels, one is that he doesn’t sit around waiting for people to come to him. He was always going to them, pursuing them, traveling about teaching, finding, talking, healing, and saving. He takes the initiative to find, and reconcile, even though he’s the one who has had the door closed in his face. In verse 18 he tells them how to fix things: “Buy gold,” meaning start showing true faith; “Wear white clothes,” meaning start doing what is right; and “put salve on your eyes,” meaning renew your minds—starting thinking differently.
Jesus is always looking to make things right again. He’s always trying to build bridges to us, even when we’re the one who pushed him away. He’ll never force to door open, though. We have to open it and invite him in: live according to what he has said, start doing what is right, and learn to think differently about life.