Summary: a study of the Gospel of Luke 13: 22 – 33
Luke 13: 22 – 33
And Who Are You?
22 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. 29 They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.” 31 On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.” 32 And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’ 33 Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.
We tend to talk a lot about heaven, especially when we are doing a funeral or memorial service. Yet, we all should stop and think for a moment about how we resist of wanting to get to our final destination. We cling to earth. Not so with our Precious Holy Master, He came here to earth to do a job of giving His life for ours and nothing was going to hold Him back from accomplishing that objective. He set His face for His goal and that was Jerusalem.
22 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
For it was what He would accomplish at Jerusalem that would cause the triumph - His precious sacrifice on the cross.
23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
The Lord refuses to answer their technical question (it was a popular question among some of the learned). Rather than thinking speculatively, they should be thinking personally. The question is, Are they themselves being saved? He therefore tells them to strive (agonise) to enter in by the narrow door, the door into the Kingdom of God.
The idea has been compared with what Matthew wrote in chapter 7 verses 13-14 which says, “13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” However, while the emphasis is similar, it still is not the same. Matthew is talking about passing through a gate with the purpose of walking in a way, and the emphasis is on the way. Here the emphasis is on the need for a decision to pass through a door. It is clearly a difficult decision, and the door is ‘narrow’ (stenos). Only few can enter at a time, and others are pressing in to get through it. The word ‘stenos’ is associated with the ideas of affliction and sorrow. It is a door that is demanding, and yet it must be entered before it is too late, and it takes effort. They must not be satisfied until they have passed through the door. This door signifies commencing the hard way of discipleship. It signifies thrusting all else aside. Nothing must be allowed to stop them entering it.