Sharing a Meal with the King

20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20 NKJ)”

This statement was made to the Laodicean church, which had grown very complacent and prideful. It is an invitation to them, an offer of a wonderful privilege. Consider if you were a small-ranking employee at a large company, and one day the CEO sent you an email asking you to join him for lunch next Tuesday. Or if you received a phone call from the chief of staff of the President of the United States, who said that the president was going to be in town two weeks from now and wanted to have dinner with you. Wouldn’t you be thrilled? What an honor! And what an opportunity!

Laodicea had grown complacent and prideful, and as a result were blind to their real spiritual need. By making this offer to them, Jesus is waking them up to His absence among them, so that they will open the door and give Jesus His rightful place in their midst. Any of them, He says, that open to Him will receive the benefits of His sweet fellowship.

This verse is also a warning to Laodicea, as the previous warnings and call to repentance make clear. Jesus is being excluded from His rightful place. They presume on His grace with no submission to Him. He comes to them sweetly entreating them to repent, but if the call is unheard, Jesus will not simply meekly go away. This is His house, His church, and He will not forever permit it to be hijacked for the private purposes of men. He will punish those who try to seize the Kingdom of God and its benefits for themselves.

We celebrate the Lord’s Supper this Sunday and as we do so, let us keep Jesus’ words to the church in Laodicea in mind, both as invitation and warning. What a wonderful privilege is being held out to us here, to sit and sup with the King of Heaven Himself! He offers Himself to us freely, to feed us with His life, to guide and direct us, to forgive our sins, to cover us with His grace.

But hear the warning as well. Take heed that you discern the body, that you recognize that this is the Lord’s house, and not ours. The church, the Supper, even our own lives are not here to puff up our pride and serve our interests. If we presume to try to enjoy the Lord’s Table while He Himself is shut out of our hearts, know that the warning does not come in vain. Without Christ in our midst, in each of our hearts, we are naked, blind, and starving, whether we admit it or not, and one day, Jesus will stop knocking and will come in judgment and take what is His by force. You do not want to be on the receiving end of that. So kiss the Son, submit to His power and right, and receive the overwhelming flood of benefits that He has for all those who are His. Don’t presume to have some right to sit at the table of Christ. Repent, believe the gospel, open the door to Christ, and sup with Him, and on Him, and live.


Saying “amen” at the end of a prayer or song can be a mindless ceremony that we do not think about. But the word has content, and if it is not to be a “vain repetition” which Jesus forbids, then we need to know and think about that content.

“Amen” means “truly” or “surely”. It was originally a Hebrew word which also appears in the Greek New Testament. When Jesus says “Verily, verily” in the old King James (in John 3, for example, translated “most assuredly” in the New King James), he is literally saying, “Amen, amen, I say unto you…” The word “amen” is a response we use to the worship of God whether in prayer or praise or the reading or preaching of the Word.

Every time we say or sing “amen” in the service should remind us of the gravity and importance of what we are doing, and the need to worship God in spirit and truth. Our worship must not be empty ceremony, just things we show up and do because we are supposed to. Our worship should be sincerely intended acts of thanksgiving and praise. Our hearts are sinful and our flesh is weak, and it is so easy to fall into an empty formalism. But our worship is laden with reminders of the nature of real worship; the word “amen” is one. Whenever we say “amen”, we are affirming that we sincerely mean what we say.

Sincerity in worship is not the same thing as emotional display; there is an insincere emotionalism, and there is also a quiet, undemonstrative sincerity. Sometimes it is difficult to feel very sincere; when I’m tired, when I’m worried, when I’m struggling with concerns in my life. Maybe I just had a fight with my wife, or got bad news at the doctor’s. God understands our weakness and frailty. He knows that we are like the flower that fades in the afternoon sun. He is merciful and kind to us. He is not in heaven harshly judging whether we are sincere enough to please Him. So He sends us His grace and Spirit. If the “amen” seems half-hearted, if our joy is not present, we ought not try to just work it up ourselves. Our “amen” should be a prayer, a cry to God to strengthen us, to fill us with His Spirit, that He might strengthen the flagging heart and empower us to worship with spirit and truth.

Why Should We Worship God? He is Merciful

If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. (Psa 130:3-4 NKJ)

All the other attributes of God make God worthy of our praise. Only the mercy of God, however, makes it possible for us to truly praise Him. Without God’s mercy, every other truth about God would make Him a terror to me. If someone is my enemy, then it is no comfort or joy to me to think about how great he is. Without God’s mercy, His justice makes Him our enemy.

But He is merciful. He is longsuffering and patient. Even to those that don’t know Him, He is gracious, giving good gifts to them to testify of His grace and to call them to repentance. To those who do know Him and put their trust in Him, His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting. He forgives us a thousand thousand times over. He continually calls us back to Himself when we stray, and He receives us back with open arms, every time.

His mercy is always perfectly concordant with His justice. His mercy is never a simple overlooking or ignoring of sin, for this He cannot do, as a faithful judge. It is rather that He, at great cost to Himself, provides a substitute, an alternative. Jesus, at the behest of the Father, took upon Himself the wrath of God on the cross and overcame it. He satisfied the wrath of the Father against sin, and extends the benefit of that satisfaction to us, through faith in Him, worked by the Spirit of God. Jesus was under no obligation to provide this satisfaction, and the Father was under no obligation to decree it or to accept such a satisfaction. The only obligation that can bind God is the obligation to be true to Himself; and this He was, true both to His justice and to His mercy. As Psalm 85:10 says, “Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed.”

The satisfaction of Christ clears away the obstacle of God’s great wrath against sin, so that we are free to glory in Him, to know Him, to bask in the glow of God’s greatness in full. We no longer need to live in fear of His wrath, no longer need to distort the truth of God, to make up pretend gods to worship because the real one scares us too much. We can enter into the brightness of His glory, the pureness of His light, the awesome infinite majesty of His perfection, all because He was merciful to us in condescending to us poor, weak, miserable sinners, and showing us grace. He sent His own Son to willingly suffer the wrath of God against sin, to satisfy justice and to provide for us a substitute sacrifice, so that we could live. Now God’s people earnestly pray for the Spirit of God to give us greater knowledge and understanding so that we might begin to worship His mercy and majesty in some small fraction of the way that He deserves.