Summary: Jesus teaches his followers the way of salvation.
“Who Will Be Saved?”
A. Vs. 22 “On His way to Jerusalem,” as Jesus headed toward Jerusalem for the final time to lay down His life, the crowds that followed Him continued to grow smaller and smaller.
1. This continues until He gets to the cross, where we find only John and the 3 Mary’s are left.
2. Contrast this with the large crowds in Galilee that came out to hear Jesus teach, crowds maybe as large as 15 to 20 thousand people.
B. Vs. 23 Here we see the reality verses the common held belief.
1. Reality- It didn’t seem like many were following Christ and therefore only a few would be saved.
2. Belief- Most all of Israel would be saved except for some of the worst sinners. (that is what the Rabbi’s were teaching.)
C. However in another way I think this person is also asking Jesus why aren’t more being saved? Why isn’t your ministry more successful? Where are all your followers?
1. We too can get too caught in focusing solely on numbers as being the only definition of a successful ministry.
2. Based on Jesus’ response He was more worried about this one person than al those who walked away, at least at this moment.
3. Jesus’ focus wasn’t on al those who weren’t being saved but on telling this one on how to be saved!
D. So Jesus turns the question not into how many will be saved, but how will you be saved?
I. Where to Enter (24)
A. “Strive” can be literally translated “keep on striving,” it’s a continual action, from this word we get our English word agonize, and has the idea of fighting or struggling, or carrying out a task with intense effort.
B. No one knew more than Jesus the cost or effort it would take to be a disciple of His: Jesus said if you want to follow me take up your cross daily; He said loose your life in order that you may gain it; leave all your worldly accomplishments and possessions behind and follow me.
a. That is the way of the strait gate.
C. Once we are saved why would Jesus continue to ask us to keep striving? Because our salvation is not yet complete.
Philippians 2:12-13 (KJV)
12 work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
1. Paul tells us to bring our salvation to completion or to become mature while we work in cooperation with God’s work in us.
2. Jesus came not only to give life, but that we may have it more abundantly.
2 Peter 1:5-8 (NASB95)
5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Striving to enter the straight gate means that once we are saved that we are becoming that which God has predestined us to become.
Romans 8:29 (KJV)
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
D. “Many will seek to enter” but not by the straight way!
Matthew 7:13-14 (NASB95)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
1. (Unsaved) The narrow way is easy, it causes the least amount of friction.
2. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy this would be true even among his own congregation.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NASB95)
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
3. The Greek word that is translated striving is also used to describe the effort of an athletic event.
4. Running a marathon.
5. We cannot choose to take the wide gate Monday – Friday and then once Sunday rolls around try to go the way of the straight gate and actually think we are going to get somewhere.
E. “and shall not be able” Why? Because they sought their own, the easy way, not God’s way.