Jesus and Locked Doors

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said,  “Peace be with you!”  John 20:19.

The exclamation point suggests to me Jesus decided to surprise the disciples—which might even been fun for Him, I know it would’ve been for me.  So He comes into the room despite the doors being locked against unwanted intruders and viola! gives the disciples the scare of their lives as well as the hippy (my bias, okay?) greeting “Peace!”  In my minds eye Jesus grins at them when He just appears in the room.

Okay, that last part was me editorializing, I know.

“Entrance is everything, you know,”  a musician friend of mine told me once, and it’s true.  God never shies away from a grand entrance or an original appearance.  He knows effective ways to get our attention and takes steps to pull out all the stops when necessary.

I believe people cover Jesus, God and Holy Spirit with a religious veneer of human perception of holiness—you know, ascetic, austere, solemn, humorless, with the only expression on Jesus’ face reflecting one of the following emotions:  joy, righteous indignation, sorrow, disappointment, mercy, or judgment.  There might be a few more, but never does anyone consider that may be God likes to have fun with the situation He’s involved in because that would be almost sacrilegious to suggest in their view.

The disciples were startled, to say the least.  Jesus, in one gospel, had to reassure them He wasn’t a ghost and ate a piece of fish to prove it, after which He encouraged them to touch Him.  I like the fact God isn’t offended by our skepticism or disbelief.  In this instance, Jesus’ resurrection stepped waaaaay outside the experience of anyone in the room—and, I dare say, the world—so He wasn’t giving them evidence out of an attitude of “you need proof?!  you faithless disciples!”  No, Jesus understood because He saw how cut off from the spiritual reality we have become.

C. S. Lewis wrote a book called “Out of the Silent Planet,” which is one of my favorite scifi stories, where he speaks to God’s action of putting a quarantine on our world to protect the rest of creation.  If man had eaten from the Tree of Life immediately after the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, God’s faithfulness would’ve kicked in and we would not have been cut off from the spiritual dimension.  I believe, however, that our quarantined condition explains why many people struggle with what is and isn’t real, the hole in the human soul is something religions have been trying to explain for eons and why science has tried to explain it all as primitive nonsense and psychological carry overs from our just-out-of-primate phase of evolution.  Many forms of mental illness stem from physical damage to the brain and body, but some forms may also derive from the spiritual wound self-inflicted in Eden.

Jesus resurrected form—the marriage of physical and spiritual—showed us what to expect from our salvation.  Anyone who wants to know what kind of body we get at the resurrection only have to look at the gospel’s accounts of Christ’s resurrected body and it will give them the basic idea.  The fact that bolted doors couldn’t hold Him out of the room is no surprise to anyone who reads scifi because we know our physical reality is but one dimension among many and solidity just a result of being firmly ensconced  in our.  From the perspective of other dimensions our solid walls are simply a collection of atoms which may or may not be seen and moved through at will.

Okay, enough theory, fun though it is, what matters is that Jesus moved through doors, walls or just opened a portal inside the room from whatever dimension He happened to be in at the time.  Which, I have to say, is just too cool!  Not to belabor the point but to emphasize it, I think He had a blast doing it too.  It certainly created the desired effect on the disciples and won them over to hope.

Some people today want to recreate the miracles of yesterday—meaning NT times—in order to support the claims of the gospel.  I say instead of that, let’s allow God to do whatever He needs to do in us and with us to create fresh evidence for His gospel.  Everything the disciples saw after the resurrection was completely outside their experience and they lived the rest of their lives in total devotion because of it.  Yet they did some pretty crazy new stuff too outside of anyone’s experience too.  When I say,  “God wants to do a new thing,”  I mean He wants to work through each of us individually.  The work He does through us is as unique as our personalities and gifts.  Part of His goal is to include us in the fun—think what party crashing would be like if you could just appear in a room.

Many have suggested God respects locked doors and the heart is always locked from the inside with no handle on the outside.  I suggest God will respect our choice without the locks, and, at the same time appear in our hearts to shine a little light through the windows of our minds—like sunshine comes into a dark room to make it brighten—unless we pull the shades.  He won’t come live with us without an invitation, but He will knock in some unique ways.  And when we’ve atrophied our will to the point that we no longer have the ability to open the door to Him, He will just appear next to us on the floor where we’ve fallen, if we call to Him for help.

Jesus doesn’t need to break the door down, He can ignore it as if it doesn’t exist and take care of business where He’s welcome.

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One Response to “Jesus and Locked Doors”

  1. eyes of faith ministries Says:

    eyes of faith ministries

    Jesus and Locked Doors | Jonny’s Habit

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