Jesus the narrow door

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Luke 13: 24-25 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us, then he will answer you, ‘I don’t know where you come from.’ ESV Bible.    Extra Reading: Luke 13: 22-30

The general expectation among Jesus’ hearers was that the Messiah would come as a great king and leader, freeing the nation from Rome and restoring Israel’s former glory. But Jesus said His Kingdom was beginning quietly. Like the tiny mustard seed that grows into an enormous tree, or the spoonful of yeast that makes the bread dough double in size, the kingdom of God would eventually push outward until the whole world was changed. From verse 22 we learn that this is the second time Luke reminds us that Jesus was intentionally going to Jerusalem. Jesus knew He was on His way to die, but He continued preaching to large crowds. The prospect of death did not deter Jesus from His mission. Finding salvation requires more concentrated effort than most people are willing to put forth. Obviously we cannot save ourselves-there is no way we can work ourselves into God’s favour. The effort we must put out “to enter through the narrow door” is earnestly desiring to know Jesus and diligently striving to follow Him whatever the cost. We dare not put off making this decision because the door will not stay open forever. The lesson here is that one must enter salvation on God’s terms. Those who are unable to enter are those who seek entrance on their own terms. Many will miss the blessings of God because they think they can achieve salvation on their own merit. Once a person’s life has ended, the door of opportunity to respond to Jesus is closed. He will be saying to them: ‘I do not know you.’ So, be properly and personally related to God through Jesus Christ. The Lord at the door is Jesus Christ.

The kingdom of God will not necessarily be populated with the people we expect to find there. Some perfectly respectable religious leaders claiming allegiance to Jesus will not be there because secretly they were morally corrupt. The people were eager to know who would be in God’s kingdom. Jesus explained that although many people know something about God, only a few have acknowledged their sins and accepted His forgiveness. Just listening to Jesus’ words or admiring His miracles is not enough-we must turn from sin and trust in God to save us. The Bible tells us that God’s kingdom will include people from every part of the world. Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah would not stop God’s plan. True Israel includes all people who believe in God. This was an important fact for Luke to stress as he was directing his gospel to a Gentile audience (Romans 4:16-25; Galatians 3:6-9). There will be many surprises in God’s kingdom. Some who are despised now will be greatly honoured then; some influential people here will be left outside the gates. Many “great” people on this earth (in God’s eyes) are virtually ignored by the rest of the world. What matters to God is not a person’s earthly popularity, status, wealth, heritage, or power, but his or her commitment to Christ. Do you know the right door?

Prayer: ‘Lord Jesus, keep knocking at our hearts’ door. In Your name we pray, Amen!

Sam Modise

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