Sunday, June 08, 2014


The Light of the World
(Jesus knocking at the door)

by William Holman Hunt
Kensington, London

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. 


  1. How beautiful!
    I bet your grands LOVE to knock on Gran's door!

  2. I have always loved that verse and that painting. When my Mom was sick and she knew that we would be left with my Dad who was an unbeliever. She made me memorize that verse so that I always knew that all I had to do was just open the door.
    I have always thought she had the most faith, because she had to leave her young children, to God.
    I always think of that when I see that picture.

  3. When I was a little girl I had a similar picture in my prayer book with the same verse. I can still recall the way the priest taught us about the symbolism and the meaning of the words.

  4. Lovely painting and post, Jody. One of my favorite things my dad used to do was how he would knock on the glass window of my storm door (I always had my wood door open in my old house to let in the light) and how my kids, little back then, would go running. I don't have a storm door in the house and I have a rather obnoxious dog so the greeting isn't nearly as sweet.

  5. In the church I grew up in there was a painting of Jesus knocking at a door with the verse from Revelation on it centered on the front wall of the sanctuary. I like this painting.

  6. We don't get many knocks on our door. We are hard to find. I appreciate that your post had such an impact on Farm Girl.

  7. Beautiful painting; beautiful thoughts.

  8. That painting is new to me - I like it! And I love your message. God is good, to keep knocking and knocking at our doors.


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