Light of the World

While we were visiting our daughter in England a few years ago she took us on a tour of Oxford University where she works. One of the highlights was seeing the chapels of various colleges on the campus. In one of these chapels there was a tiny alcove off to the side. In that space was the original painting, bigger than life with vibrant colors, of “The Light of the World” painted in the mid 1800’s by Holman Hunt. The painting was inspired by Revelations 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with me”

          According to one of the commentaries on the verse, it is “the door to the church. The Lord, as the Head of the church, is standing outside the degraded church, knocking at the door. The church must realize this! The door to the church must be opened by individual believers.”

Holman Hunt - The Light of the World

In the book “Life on the Highest Plane” written by Ruth Paxon she uses scripture to express the need for unity among the believers in the church. “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you will be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment.”

          She uses three verses to insure that unity.1) 1 Peter 2:1 “Wherefore lay aside all malice, all hypocrisies, envies and all evil speakings…” 2) Colossians 3:14 “And above all these things put on love which is the bond of perfectness.” and 3) John 17:23 “I in them and you in me, that we may be perfect in one….”

          To survive in today’s world, the church and all its believers must stand together being firm in their faith. They must not be conformed to the world but, instead, follow God’s will by listening and obeying the voice of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Philippians 2:15 “that we may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

          There is another way to look at Hunt’s painting. It is expressed in the hymn that is sung as

“The Savior is waiting to enter your heart.

Why don’t you let Him come in?

Time after time He has waited before

and now He is waiting again

to see if you are willing to open the door

Oh, how He wants to come in”


          Jesus is at the door of everyone.  For too many people the noise of the world covers the sound of His knock.  Only when we can silence the world can we hear Him at the door and open it and let Him come in. The scriptures tell us that God already knew whom he would call; he knew who would be willing to open the door.  Romans 8:29-30 “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son………… “and those he predestined, he also called and those he called he also justified and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Ephesians 1:4 tells us that he chose us in him before the foundation of the world”

“He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be kind of first fruits of all he created.” James 1:18

          So God has given us the opportunity to be in His family, but each person must make the decision to open the door.

          Let’s read again:

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with me.”


* Photo given by E Quinlan