Luke 13:23-27 - And someone said to Him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" And He said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, 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.' But He will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from Me, all you workers of evil!'"
Have you ever noticed how strange Jesus is about answering questions? He rarely ever answers them in the form people present them. Here, for instance. Someone asks him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" That's a question about numbers, right? It's almost what we used to call an "academic" question—one that speculates about a matter that is comfortably distant with no real effect on our lives.
But quick as a flash, Jesus reframes the whole question into a deeply personal one. He says, "You!—strive to enter through the narrow gate," and goes on from there. In effect, He is saying, "Never mind about the absolute numbers. What about you? Are you going to be among the saved? That is the question you should be thinking about."
Ouch! That's maybe more truth than we want to deal with! And He goes on to give us a picture of people just like us who somehow manage to miss out—people whose relationship to Jesus stayed in the theoretical realm all too long, until the door was shut, and the opportunity was lost. Then, finally, they ask to come in —and Jesus truthfully says He does not know where they come from. Who are you? Well, they say, You must know us. After all, "We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets."
What a weird way to put it, don't you think? They don't say, "We ate and drank with You," as if they were sharing a dinner table with Jesus as friends; no, we had our own little dinner party while You were—what? standing by? Again, "You taught in our streets"—not in our homes, not to our families, but outside, along with all the other street noises that meant nothing to us. What a terrifying thing to admit! They don't know Jesus, and so He does not know them.
This doesn't have to be us. This should not ever be us, because the Holy Spirit has brought us to faith in Jesus—has brought us through the narrow gate, to eat and drink Jesus' body and blood at His own table, to hear His teaching in His own house and in ours. Jesus is not a theoretical "someday" Savior for us—He is the One who has laid down His life for us already when He died on the cross, and the One who rose from the dead to give us new, everlasting life. He has called us to Himself, and He welcomes everyone who trusts Him. Please God, may that always be us—and the people He sends us to, to invite into His kingdom.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, draw me close to You in truth and let Your Holy Spirit live in me. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Have you ever played Bible trivia? What were the questions like?
2. What does it mean, to really know someone?
3. How are you sure that Jesus is really yours and you are really His?
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