Grace Abounding in Revelation 3:19-20
Revelation 3:20 is a well-known statement; “Behold, 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.” Given the context it is actually an amazing statement about God’s amazing grace.
The statement concludes Jesus’ word to the church at Laodicea, which was full of rebuke and with no positive word about them. They were “lukewarm” in their faith, what we call “wishy-washy”, or “sitting on the fence.” Jesus threatened to spit them out like lukewarm water, useless. Of the seven churches, only Laodicea received all rebuke and no commendation.
Taking this view, then, to quote v.20 is a serious command. The Laodicean church is the most sinful and weak and unfaithful of all seven, and the statement that the Lord “stands at their door and knocks” is very threatening, not comforting.
We learn much about the grace of God from this statement. He begins in v.19, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.” He stands ready to forgive upon the repentance of the church, v.20. The image of intimate companionship over a meal is reminiscent of John 14, of the upper room, and of John 21 when Jesus feeds them breakfast on the beach after his resurrection and after they all fled from Jesus at the crucifixion.
It is the most intimate of gracious offers, and it is made to the most sinful of the seven churches. This is grace abounding!
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