DO YOU REALLY KNOW HIM?
Lord, keep us on the straight and narrow path.
Read LUKE 13:22–30
The Narrow Door
22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord.” (J.I. Packer, Knowing God, 3rd edition, Hodder & Stoughton, 2005)
After Jesus emphasizes the tiny way the kingdom begins in a person’s life, eventuating into the many who will become involved, someone asks him whether only a few will be saved. This is a highly relevant question, which Jesus decides to personalize. Christians often talk about seeing Christ in another person, such as the stranger in need, and yet here the focus shifts to us and whether our lives will be filled with enough faith, hope, and love to be saved.
The reply of Jesus is challenging. He emphasizes that it is not enough to eat or drink with him, or even to listen to his teaching; his response to these people will be “I don’t know you” (27). It seems not enough to attend church services, listen to many sermons, or even to participate in communion. Going through religious motions is inadequate. Mere familiarity with Christ is clearly not sufficient. Many of these who assume they are first in line will have actually become last. These are the ones who will end up in a distressing place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
By contrast, what Jesus emphasizes is an intimacy of relationship, the real thing. This passage is provocative, pointing us firmly towards a kind of relationship with Christ that is so different from ritual borne of religiosity. This is religion of the heart, which allows Christ to know us deeply and intimately. Jesus clarifies that these are the kinds of people who will be able to enter through the narrow door and partake of the feast in the kingdom of God.
This is a clear call to focus on our personal relationships with Jesus – the way we know Him and He knows us. Lord, please help us to know You intimately and follow You wholeheartedly.
Lord, thank You for being honest about how difficult the way that leads to life really is. Thank You for sugarcoating nothing.