Lord of the ups and downs of life, the God for all seasons, I need Your hand upon me as I face trials and tribulations.
Read LUKE 13:22–30
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose” (Jim Elliot, 1927–1956).
Jesus refuses to be drawn in by the question of how many will be saved. Instead, he tries to focus the attention of his listeners on the kingdom opportunity that lies before them. They believe that for them the door is always wide and welcoming, but Jesus now challenges that presumption by suggesting that at some point the door will shut!
As Jesus went through the towns and villages on his way to Jerusalem, he proclaimed the kingdom: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3). His message and actions demonstrated the kingdom and extended the invitation for all to enter. However, Jesus also described the door as narrow (24), suggesting that those who want to enter it won’t simply do so by accident, or by chance stumble into it. Rather, to enter will require energy, intention and decision.
Jesus then shockingly describes the door as closed (25). This was unthinkable for the children of Abraham (28) in his audience, but true nonetheless. If they are complacent about the kingdom that he represents, even though they believe themselves to be the first, they will be the last; people from the distant corners of the earth will enter and enjoy it before they do! Jesus wants them to enter and he calls them to do so. What a tragedy it would be to have an invitation and not use it; to be first in line and then not get in.
His grace has opened the door to us, so let us never become complacent with his invitation and the opportunities it affords us. Our only right to enter is that granted by his mercy.
Think back to the time when you passed through the door into God’s kingdom. How can you encourage others to respond to the invitation?
Father, I am forever grateful for Your call upon my life. You chose me and made me Your child. I give my thanks and praise to You.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.