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Look! I stand where I have stood many times before; [I have come all the way to your door,] and I am continually pounding.

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If anyone recognizes my voice and if he opens the door, I will come in to him

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and eat with him, and he [will eat] with me.

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Pay attention to this! You have offended me with this missed opportunity; I have made you this offer many times in the past; in fact I am continually offering you another chance to repent.  Whoever responds to my call, is willing to accept my offer of close fellowship, and demonstrates it through repentance, I will come close to him and reveal myself to him in a new way, and we will enjoy close fellowship with one other.



I treat this sentence as one unit for the purpose of symbolism, hence this footnote will deal with several aspects of this sentence.

“stand” – The verb form for “stand” is perfect, meaning he has done this many times in the past.

“to your door” – See the full comment after the verse to read why coming all the way to the door demonstrated that something was wrong.

“pounding” – The verb form of the word “pounding” is present, meaning he continually does this or is continuing to do this, despite the offensive rejections he has suffered in the past. See the full comment after the verse for more details.


“Come into him” is a quasi-symbol: It is not that “come in” means to reveal or manifest one’s self, but rather that is the purpose.

3: "eat with"

In those days people did not dine with someone unless they were in good fellowship together. To extend an invitation to eat together was an invitation to a closer relationship. It was more about the relationship than it was the food.

“I Stand at the Door and Knock”

This symbol is not a picture of Jesus meekly asking (or begging) to be let into their lives, neither is it a picture of Jesus being kind and sweet and politely asking to be a part of their lives. Rather there is a high degree of bite and sting here that we have not understood.

Did they keep their doors closed during the day? Most did not. For the common people of ancient times, and in many parts of the world today, the door was only closed at night. During the day the bugs and birds and neighbors and neighbors’ children could all come and go at will.

I understand that in ancient Israel, it was customary for visitors to call out from a short distance, and for the homeowner or his wife to meet his guests outside the home and usher them into the home. If a visitor came to a home, called out from a distance and got no answer, he would not walk away, rather he would walk slowly toward the open door while calling out for attention. If there was still no answer, he would bang loudly on the doorframe, demanding that they give him attention. Such pounding was only used if the people inside were refusing to welcome Him. The Greek word used here means to “beat with heavy blows” on the door using your knuckles or even a stick, and its corresponding Hebrew word means to “pound” with one’s fists. Pounding was a forceful way of saying, “Let me in, now!” It was a demand, not a polite request.

So the Laodiceans were being accused of not going out to greet Jesus to welcome Him, of not accepting His previous offers, of not wanting true fellowship with Him. He had told them to repent and this was one last opportunity for them to do so. If they did, He would accept them and treat them as one would treat a close friend or relative. It is a picture of amazing mercy and grace—His willingness to forgive despite how they had slapped Him in the face.