“… and will not be able”
Today’s chapters in Luke are full of challenging parables. They challenge us to understand and act in a particular way. For a start we noted the response of Jesus when someone asked,
“Lord, will those who are saved be few?” (13:23).
The question leads Jesus to talk about the “narrow door” (verse 24).
We are reminded of another occasion when he spoke about the “narrow gate” (Matthew 7:13,14), and on that occasion he said,
“the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few”.
Luke records Jesus as saying,
“Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (13:24).
Why will they not be able? Why does God not make it wide and easy? Does he not want all people to be saved? If the answer is “Yes” – we must ask ourselves, ‘Saved – on whose terms?’ Ours or God’s?
We may want to buy a house or a car? Who sets the terms? There is often negotiation. But salvation is so very different, a life changing difference! Jesus goes on to speak of a house, the door of which is “shut”! Many are knocking and
“saying, Lord, open to us, then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from’. Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets’” (verse 25).
They heard Jesus preach – we didn’t – but we can say we read God’s Bible regularly, and come together to share in a communion meal every week; surely can we ask for the right to come into this house? It is vital that we carefully note the next words of Jesus that he will say to some;
“But he will say, ‘I tell you I do not know where you come from’” (verses 26,27).
He means by this that they never developed a relationship with him – and a relationship is a two way affair, an active day by day relationship.
In Luke 14, which we also read today, there is a parable about a great banquet where they reclined with Jesus at a meal table, and someone said,
“Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God” (verse 15).
Jesus then comments on those who had (to them) more important things to do in their lives than to come to God’s banquet.
Another parable in the chapter is about counting the cost of building a tower, it makes the vital point that it is no good building the foundation without first planning how you are going to complete the tower. So let us fully learn the vital lesson that following in the footsteps of the Master has to be undertaken with a heartfelt sense of a lifetime commitment to make sure we “will … be able” to complete the journey – and how close are we now to the end?