Your salvation depends on knowing, and more importantly being known by Jesus. The pathway to being known by Jesus is not an easy one to find let alone walk as we see in this section of scripture. These are not my words but the words of the Lord when someone asked him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” (Verse 23) So let us take a look at this and what it might mean for us.
Seek the Narrow Door
When Jesus answered this man’s question he said, “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” (Verse 24) The key here is that many will SEEK to enter but won’t be able to do so. Many will look for the narrow door but won’t find it. In a similar scripture in Matthew 7:14 Jesus said, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Again the emphasis is on FINDING the narrow gate or door, and many will not find that door.
What or Who is the Narrow Door?
Jesus speaks of himself as being door in John 10:7 saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” Jesus is the door that we need to enter by to come into the Kingdom of God and it is Jesus whom we must seek if we are to enter.
There is no other way into God’s kingdom except through the narrow door that is Jesus. But the challenge we all face is to be able to find this narrow door, for we see in the scriptures being studied here in Luke 13 that many will seek to enter but not be able to. They will think they have the right of entry, but will be shut out.
By Faith, not Works
Why could they not enter? Jesus said in verse 25, “…you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us.’ He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.'” They are not known to Jesus because they did not come to him in accordance with the path Jesus set for us to follow.
We enter the door to God’s kingdom through faith. Many believe they need to do works of the law or other mighty works, but these will not give you entry into God’s kingdom. It is by faith we are righteous, not by works. And it is by faith we are saved through entering into the death of Jesus Christ so that we can learn to walk as he walked.
It is not enough to just sort of “hang about” with Jesus, you must learn and apply those things that are pleasing to God so that you can truly walk with Jesus. The people Jesus describe in this section were just “hangers on” but were not applying the truth of the New Covenant in their lives, as he said, “Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!'” (verses 26-27)
Walking with Jesus
If we go back to the start of this scripture we see that Jesus tells us to “Strive to enter…” (Verse 24) We must aspire to the highest possible standard of Christianity so that we may be able to enter God’s kingdom. But this is not about works or what we do, it is about accepting Jesus through faith and by faith and entering through his death in baptism so we can stand before God set free from sin, set free from law and ready to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
We must continue to progress and learn in Jesus all the things that pertain to a life of godliness so that we can walk with Christ. We need to become a follower of Jesus in the fullest sense so that we can likewise fulfil the words of John when he wrote, “In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)
What do you think about this? What does it mean to you to strive to enter by the narrow door? Please add your comments below for all of us to learn and understand as you may have a different perspective that I have not referenced here. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
(Photos sourced from stock.xchng www.sxc.hu/ taken by Mira Pavlakovic (top photo) and Anita K (bottom photo))