Moment of Opportunity
Faithful Lord, may Your Holy Word today free my praise, inspire my prayer, and shape my life.
Read Luke 13:18-30
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
How did you come to faith in Christ? Spend a few minutes thanking God for the people he used in that.
Jesus has just outsmarted the religious establishment (15,16), and the delighted crowd is ready to hear whatever he has to say (17). “What is the Kingdom of God like?” (18) may seem an odd question at this moment, but it shows what was most important to Jesus. As we shall see in our next few readings, the Kingdom of God was the key to his message. So what is it? Basically, it’s God’s sovereign rule over all creation, and it’s the state we enter when we are “in Christ” (Eph. 1:7-10). That’s what Jesus announced at his first coming, and that’s what he will consummate at his Second Coming.
Jesus knew this would be a difficult concept for his listeners, so he uses three images. First, the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed (19): though it has a small beginning, eventually it has a big impact. Second, it’s like yeast (21): it seems insignificant but it influences everything. Interestingly, some realized that Jesus was talking about salvation (23), and that’s when Jesus’ teaching takes on a sharper edge as he introduces a third image, the narrow door (24). What could that mean?
First, it’s a warning that salvation isn’t universal; some will receive it and some won’t. Further, the consequences of not entering the narrow door are cataclysmic: weeping and gnashing of teeth are strong images (28). But for me, the most sobering phrase is, “I don’t know you” (25,27). Some Christians use an exaggerated fear of hell to pressure unbelievers towards a decision for Christ; others say that does more harm than good. Perhaps the best way to apply these verses is to let them motivate us to share the good news whenever and however God gives us the opportunity.
Ask God to give you an opportunity to share or show your faith this week, and the courage to seize it.
Lord, I want to share my faith with others but often I feel inadequate. Equip me to tell others of Your love and give me courage to grasp any opportunity.
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