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Revelation 3:14-22



“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline, so be earnest, and repent. 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.


“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

(verses 19-22)

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I love this image of Jesus standing at the door, knocking, eager to come in and enjoy fellowship with the one on the inside – me, you. How powerful. No wonder this verse is so often used in evangelistic settings, communicating the warm-hearted invitation of Jesus to enter into saving, life-giving, intimate relationship with himself.


But of course, the verse is much bigger in its application because it was originally spoken to those who were already believers, those who had already received salvation. That being said, the invitation is also narrower than that, because it was originally spoken to a community of Christians who were apathetic in their faith and desperately in need of repentance and renewal. “Because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (verse 16). This statement of Jesus, flowing into a charge for the church to wake up to its real poverty, blindness, and nakedness, is the precursor to the warm invitation. How grace-filled.


“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline,” Jesus says. So, having rebuked them, the Lord, lovingly, gives them wise counsel. “Buy from me gold refined in the fire,” he says, “so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” In essence, what he’s saying is that the Laodicean church must first recognize its own need. There is no help unless we know that we’re needy. You don’t go to the doctor unless you recognize you’re sick. You don’t accept a vaccine unless you realize the imminent danger without. You don’t grab the hand of the rescuer unless you know you’re drowning.


But secondly, knowing their need, the Laodiceans are simply urged to come back to Jesus. He is the source. He is the only resource. Come, “buy from me,” he says. Receive what is needed from Jesus’ own hand. There is no other. You who have grown complacent, neither hot nor cold, lean afresh into your Lord. Reconnect with him. Live again like a branch in the vine, dependent on him for your very life.


Which, in fact, is another way of framing the same picture. “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.”


It’s all about relationship, living in communion with Jesus himself. Don’t take the connection for granted. Renew it. Live in it. Receive life. Enjoy the fellowship.

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Lord Jesus, I hear your voice beckoning me into deeper connection. I receive your invitation. I welcome your presence. May the fellowship deepen.

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Reflect:

Practically, what would it mean today for you to intentionally open the door wider, inviting Jesus in? Consider how to live in that fellowship all day long.


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