What’s up with The Door? Two Gospels make reference to The Door which locks us out of God’s Presence. Matthew 25:10 refers to the Foolish Bridesmaids caught unprepared by the Bridegroom’s arrival. They begged to be let in, but the The Door to the banquet hall was already locked, and the Bridegroom said to them, “I do not know you.” Luke 13:25 refers to the Master, who after a long day’s work, got up from supper, and locked The Door to go to bed. To the stragglers who begged, ‘Lord, open to us’, the Master said, “I do not know where you come from.” In both Gospels, those locked out are condemned as Strangers to God.
Lest we portray Jesus as mercilessly cruel, there is a third reference to The Door –one with a profound nuance. In Revelations 3:20, John also references The Door which separates the Unrepentant Sinner from Jesus, but this time, it is Jesus who is begging to be allowed to come in: “Behold, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him.”
In all three cases The Door separates us from Jesus. In Matthew and Luke, The Door keeps us from Jesus, yet in Revelations, The Door keeps Jesus from us. In Matthew and Luke, the Sinner does not control the lock. Yet, in John, the Sinner controls the lock. So, what is The Door and how does its lock work?
Clearly, The Door is the consequence of personal sin, for sin separates us from God. Sin renounces the Reign of God over our life as it exalts the Reign of Self over God. Sin is the bottom line of where we stand in relationship to God. We are cast as Strangers, not because Jesus does not know our name, or where we were born, but because our selfish life is foreign to him –he knows only the Will of the Father. He cannot relate to disobedience, nor can the Disobedient relate to him.
If The Door is the consequence of sin, then the lock speaks to the ‘eternal-ness’ of that consequence. Matthew and Luke plainly describe, that once The Door is shut, it cannot be opened –yet, John clearly has Jesus hoping it will open again. Why the difference? The difference is not so much ‘why’ as ‘when’ -for the ‘when’ makes all the difference in the world.
In Matthew and Luke, The Door is locked at the coming of Night. Scripture tells us we have but one life to live, and then we are judged. Like the Bridesmaids, ‘we do not know either the day or the hour’ of that All Important Moment -when our ultimate destiny becomes Eternally Chosen.And lest we portray this Sober Truth as mercilessly cruel, John, the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved, leaves us with the Hope of Mercy –with the Sacred Heart of Jesus knocking at The Door of our heart, begging that we trust him to become Lord in our life. While we yet breathe, we are in the Season of Mercy –repenting of our selfish ways immediately opens The Door to the Bridegroom who so Desires our heart.