Exegetical look into Revelation 3:19-22

The churches we are a part of are made up of believers coming together in faith and grace to know, worship, grow, and share in Christ. It is not about us, even though it is us. It is all about who and what Christ is and has done. The church exists to promote and proclaim Christ. It is about Him; He is the Lord; He is within each of us. Christ was there amongst them just as He is here amongst us in His Church. The irony is that this church of Laodicea, like many today, rendered our Lord as the outsider, so He had to knock at the door of His own home! He does not force Himself in; rather, He waits for us to invite Him in.

· I rebuke… discipline. This is styled as an Old Testament rebuke from a Prophet of God for discipline (Job 5:17; Psalm 94:12; Prov. 3:11-12; Isa. 9:6; 1 Cor. 11:32; Heb. 12:5-11).

· Be earnest/zealous, as in earnest surrender to His Lordship. We are to proclaim Him in truth, earnestly with zeal, and in love. However, are we as zealous for the Lord as those are who passionately oppose Christ? Do we take Christ seriously or does our complacency win out? Our being idle and not responding to our Lord is a very sad thing! When we refuse to model it to others, it shows that we have no compassion, no trust, no love, and no care for the One who has given so much of these things to us without merit (Matt. 9: 27-34; 10: 34-42; Rom. 9:30-10:4; James 1: 21-27).

· I stand at the door and knock is an image of our Lord knocking on the door of our hearts. It is a reference to His beckoning for us to come to Him and also a prelude to the “imminence” of His Second Coming. The request of Jesus is that the self-deluded and compliant members of a church who refuses to invite Christ into “their” church or be a part of “their” activities and lives are being called out by Him (Matt. 24:33; Mark. 13:29; James 5:8-9; Rev. 3:11; 22:7).

· Opens the door means being steadfast and persevering in faith, faithfully waiting for Christ and His return. This is also an image that our faith opens His door, our obedience keeps it open, but our pride closes it (Luke 12:35-38).

· I will come in and eat with him is a reference to the intimacy that sharing a meal was in the ancient cultures. (We have mostly lost this today.) Jesus is willing to commune with us! This means commitment such as how Christ has committed Himself to us and how we need to commit ourselves to Him (Matt. 24:33-42; John 10:1-4).

· He with me… is an invitation to join Him. He is the gracious Host who is friendly and seeks us, who are impoverished, as guests to a great and wondrous banquet (Rev. 2:7-20, 26; 5:10; 19:9).

· Him who overcomes. The door is closed from our side—not His! This is a promise that when we are faithful, He is there amongst us. No matter how far we stray from His path as a church, we can still open the door to Him. The key is to trust in Him (Psalm 110:1; Matt. 19:28; Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33-35; 1 Cor. 15:25; 2 Tim. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:22; 1 John 5:1-5; Rev. 3:7-8; 20:4-6)!

· Sit with me. This is an image of sharing and partaking in His Kingdom as His viceroys, as servant leaders who represent the Living Lord. He is the One who exalts us by His grace, will, and purpose. It is never a force of will upon our part; if so, it is heinous pride!

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