Unexpected Citizenship

The Jewish people thought that, as genetic descendents of Abraham they would be withing God’s Kingdom.  When someone realized that Jesus was casting doubt on Israel’s access to The Kingdom of God, they asked if most would be saved.  Jesus indicates through the illustration of the Narrow Gate that a minority from Israel will be included.  This is the shocker for many nations that consider themselves godly.  Both Britain and America have lost their way and are trying to fulfil themselves spiritually through consumerism and a mosaic of all faiths.  The truth is that a narrow way leads to salvation and this reckless, hedonistic generation will see that those in Sudan, Korea, China, and Kenya are entering the Kingdom before them.

Luke 13:18-30

18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”

 20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

 22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

   He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

   “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

   26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

   27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

   28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Questions

  1. What two illustrations does Jesus give for the Kingdom of God?
  2. Who will be last?
  3. What is Jesus saying here to his Jewish audience?
  4. How does western civilization owe much of its growth to Christian thought?
  5. How do people in America and Europe assume they are part of God’s kingdom?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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