Posts Tagged ‘#redemptionwaiting’

The Light of the World
William Holman Hunt

Jesus is standing at the door …

A common message of those who follow the teachings, life and person of Jesus. For those of us who know him well, in our hearts, in our very souls that we have handed back over to him.

It is the message of life of Jesus, recorded in Revelation 3:20:

“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 that person, and they with me.”

In the mid 1800’s, William Holman Hunt created an allegorical painting of this passage, called The Light of the Word (above). The story it tells is fascinating and requires more than a mere passing glance.

We first see the image of Jesus, indicated by the halo or nimbus surrounding his head. He is carrying a lit lamp or lantern in one hand … reminding us that he is the light of the world (and in him no darkness). The light he carries only illuminates he and the door, only that which in his view, not behind him. With his other (right) hand, he is knocking on the door. A gentlemanly act, for one who could do away with the door with the flame he carries.

He knocks … he waits. Eyes off to the side, as if listening for footsteps approaching the door.

The door is covered with growth, brambles, weeds. It has not been opened for a long time. The resident has not emerged from this residence in years … why does Jesus knock? It would appear that no one is home. He knocks because he knows someone is inside (surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life … Psalm 23:6), as long as a soul lives, he pursues.

The door … notice anything? Anything important? Anything important that is missing?

A door knob … Jesus knocks as the door cannot be opened from the outside, from his side. This door can only be opened from the inside … and the overgrowth would indicate that the resident has not even peeked outside for a very, very long time.

Yet, despite the passage of time, despite the disinterest of the resident of this house for he who is knocking, Jesus waits …

I love how Isaiah 30:18 describes his waiting of the resident, of us:

“… the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore
He waits on high
to have compassion on you.”

His pursuit of us is endless, eternal. As long as we have breath in our lungs to say,


he knocks, he waits.

The light of the world is just outside our doors. And he is knocking. He desires nothing more than to be invited in, to share his light. Yet, we have a part to play, we have to open the door … just




In opening the door we find repentance, redemption. Not because of our opening the door, but because of the one who knocks, who waits for the key to unlock the door that sin has bolted.

Yet, we still need to respond to his knock.


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