Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him…
These wonderful words need no heightening of their impressiveness, and yet there are two considerations which add pathos and beauty to them. The one is that they are all but the last words which the seer in Patmos heard in his vision, from the lips of the exalted Christ. Parting words are ever impressive words; and this is the attitude in which Jesus desired to be thought of by all coming time. Another consideration intensifying the impressive-Hess of the utterance is that it is the speech of that Christ whose exalted glories are so marvellously portrayed in the first chapter of this book. The words are marvellous too, not only for that picture, but for the clear decisiveness with which they recognise the solemn power that men have of giving or refusing an entrance to Him; and still further, for the grandeur of their promises to the yielding heart which welcomes Him.
I. THE EXALTED CHRIST ASKING TO BE LET IN to a man's heart. The latter words of the verse suggest the image of a banqueting hall. The chamber to which Christ desires entrance is full of feasters. There is room for everybody else there but Him. Now the plain sad truth which that stands for about us, is this: That we are more willing to let anybody and anything come into our thoughts, and find lodgment in our affections, than we are to let Jesus Christ come in. The next thought here is of the reality of this knocking. Every conviction, every impression, every half inclination towards Him that has risen in your hearts, though you fought against it, has been His knocking there. And think of what a revelation of Him that is! We are mostly too proud to sue for love, especially if once the petition has been repulsed; but He asks to be let into your heart because His nature and His name is Love, and being such, He yearns to be loved by you, and tie yearns to bless you.
II. NOTICE THAT AWFUL POWER WHICH IS RECOGNISED HERE AS RESIDING IN US, to let Him in or to keep Him out. "It any man will open the door" — the door has no handle on the outside. It opens from within. Christ knocks: we open. What we call faith is the opening of the door. And is it not plain that that simple condition is a condition not imposed by any arbitrary action on His part, but a condition indispensable from the very nature of the case?
III. THE ENTRANCE OF THE CHRIST, with His hands full of blessing. It is the central gift and promise of the gospel "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." He Himself is the greatest of His gifts. He never comes empty-handed, but when He enters in He endows the soul with untold riches. We have here also Christ's presence as a Guest. "I will come in and sup with Him." What great and wonderful things are contained in that assurance! Can we present anything to Him that He can partake of? Yes! We may give Him our service and He will take that; we may give Him our love and He will take that, and regard it as dainty and delightsome food. We have here Christ's presence not only as a Guest, but also as Host — "I will sup with him and he with Me." As when some great prince offers to honour a poor subject with his presence, and let him provide some insignificant portion of the entertainment, whilst all the substantial and costly parts of it come in the retinue of the monarch, from the palace.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.