Painting Luke's Gospel

A knock at the door

“Lord, teach us to pray…”

Many people know the Lord’s Prayer off by heart. Most people wouldn’t remember what comes directly after it in Luke chapter 11. Jesus expands on how the disciples should pray with this odd parable, with someone being persistent to the point of being a nuisance to his friend.

Persistence in prayer is a theme which comes up twice in Luke; here and in “The Persistent Widow”. It seems just as important to Jesus to get across this idea of persistence in prayer, as it is to get across the form of prayer.

Alex, who is in the painting, has been a regular in the Wild Olive Tree Café, and is known for his persistent nature. Although he doesn’t have much money himself, he insisted on gifting Iain £5 for Christmas 2018 inside a card. The money paid for the paintbrush this portrait was painted with.

Jesus' teaching on prayer

 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.” And suppose the one inside answers, “Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

‘So I say to you: ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

‘Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

Luke 11:5-13 (NIVUK)


Painting Handout

Explore this painting in more detail with our free PDF including colour-in section.

A knock at the door: Painting Handout Download
Gospel Bible Study

This study considers both the Biblical text and the painting on which it is based, encouraging participants to think about how to apply the Biblical text to their context.

A knock at the door: Bible Study Download

The Portrait Gospel

The Gospel of Luke uniquely illustrated by Iain Campbell

The Portrait Gospel is uniquely illustrated by Iain Campbell. By using modern day Glaswegians as his models, Iain’s compelling paintings bring 21st century life to the words of a first century disciple.

Copies of The Portrait Gospel are available to buy in person from St George’s Tron Church, Glasgow.

Privacy Policy

© 2023 The Scottish Bible Society
Scottish Charity No. SC010767
Registered Office: 7 Hampton Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5XU, United Kingdom