SERMONS, OUTLINES, ILLUSTRATIONS, AND PREACHING IDEAS

ACCEPTING HIS CALL (1 OF 5)

by Tony Nester


This content is part of a series.

Accepting His Call (1 of 5)
Series: After Easter
Tony R. Nester
John 20:19-23


On that first Easter evening Jesus, risen from the dead, found his disciples hiding in a house with locked doors. They were afraid. In spite of their locked doors he entered their room. They thought they were seeing a ghost. But then Jesus showed them the nail prints on his hands and feet, and the wound on his side. Now they knew he was indeed their Master, their Teacher, their Lord - risen from the dead. Of course they were filled with joy.

And it was just at that moment that Jesus told them that his church had no business hiding in a house behind locked doors. He was the Risen Lord. He issued a call and set forth a challenge. To follow him would mean to get out behind locked doors.

''As the Father has sent me, so I send you.'' (Verse 21).

Nevertheless, we who are his church are often behind locked doors. I'm not talking now about the doors we sometimes lock to keep outsiders from coming in. I'm speaking, instead, about the doors we lock to keep us from going out.

Many of us have seen the painting by Holman Hunt of Jesus knocking at the door. It was based on Revelation 3:20. (See Rev. 3:20)

Ken Callahan, a United Methodist Church consultant, tells about the day he came to a new view of that painting. He was working with a church and took some time alone in that church's sanctuary. He was thinking and praying about how to help this church advance its ministry. In the sanctuary was a beautify stain glass version of Christ standing at the door. The light was streaming in and lighting up the window. All of a sudden it came to him. Jesus was saying something new through that picture. Instead of knocking to GET IN, Jesus was knocking to get the door open so believers would GO OUT. Here's how he put it into words:

What that image means in our time, on one of the richest mission fields on the planet, is that Christ stands at the door, knocking, hoping someone will c ...

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