The Light of the World
(Jesus knocking at the door)
by William Holman Hunt
Do you look forward to a knock on your door? It's a lovely anticipation, isn't it? The knocker, eager to come in, makes himself or herself known by the knock and then waits. He waits for the one inside to open to him. It would be impertinent to burst in and not allow the one who abides within to show her willingness to open to you. It is a very personal thing to open the door to someone, isn't it? Sometimes when I am unsure about the person at the door, I stand in the doorway until I find out the reason for the knock. It could be a salesman or a lost traveler or someone warning of fire or trouble of some kind. At other times, I am expecting someone to come for a visit, and I hear the knock as well as the voice. I run eagerly to the door, knowing that it is a dear loved one here to call on me. The UPS man is a happy knock to anticipate. And then there is the unexpected knock that brings a surprise from a grandchild or neighbor. No matter who is knocking, it is up to me to open to that one outside.
The Light of the World (1853–54) is an allegorical painting representing the figure of Jesus preparing to knock on a long-unopened door overgrown with weeds. It illustrates Revelation 3:20: "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". Notice the door has no door handle on the outside, but it must be opened from the inside.