Sunday, July 3, 2016

Luke 13:22-30

Luke 13:22-30
And He was journeying through cities and towns, teaching and journeying into Jerusalem.  And someone said to Him, “Lord, are the ones who are saved few?”  And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door.  Because many, I say to you, will seek to enter in and they will not be strong enough.  From whom, the master of the house is being raised and he should shut the door and you all should begin to be set outside and to knock upon the door saying, ‘Lord, open to us!’  And He will say to you, ‘I have not known from where you come.’  At that time, you all will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence and you taught in our streets.’  And he will say, ‘I say to you all, I have not known from where you come.  Depart from me – every laborer of unrighteousness!’  Weeping and gnashing of teeth will be there.  Then you will see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and every prophet in the kingdom of God while you are being cast outside.  And they will come from the east and west and north and south and they will be seated in the kingdom of God.  And behold!  The last are the ones who will be first and the first are the ones who will be last.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Someone asks Jesus a profound question.  Will many be saved?  It is a question that I have been asked many times.  My heart, desiring to be compassionate and take the easy route, wants to say, “No way!  God is a loving God.  Most people will be saved.”  But although my heart wants to say that, my eyes read something different that comes out of Jesus’ mouth.  Many will try, but they won’t be strong enough.  Many will be set outside the kingdom when the master of the house gets up and shuts the door to the kingdom.  Jesus is quite clear in His words.  Many will seek to enter but not find their way in.  Many.  I think that point is worth pondering today.

Are you in the kingdom?  How do you know?  What is the evidence of the kingdom in your life?

Second Thought:

Notice what Jesus says about the people who are set outside the kingdom!  They ate with Jesus.  They heard Jesus teach and preach within their midst.  What’s Jesus’ point?  Proximity to righteousness isn’t good enough.  Just being around Jesus’ righteousness is not the same as embracing that righteousness and bearing the fruit of righteousness in one’s life.  Christ has to live within us, not around us.

Does Christ live within you?  Have you heard the call of Christ?  Have you responded to that call?  How do you know?

Third Thought:

Then Jesus says something really interesting.  While the laborers of unrighteousness are set outside, others will be gathered into the kingdom from all over the world.  In other words, while we can say that many will be set outside, we can also say that many places in the world will have representatives inside the kingdom.  Jesus did not just come to save the Hebrew people.  He came to save anyone in the whole world who are willing to respond to His call.  Salvation is not a matter of geography or lineage.  Salvation is a matter of the heart.  All are welcome.

Do you believe that the world is being reached for Christ?  Where have you heard that doors are being opened for Christ?  Where are the places in the world that continue to be closed to Christ?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 13:31-35
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