Luke 13:18-35 Jesus’ Way Is Narrow

18 He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”

20 And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”

22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying towards Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.25 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.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32 And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 35 Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Jesus’ Way Is Narrow

Jesus’ way is both narrow and broad.  In Israel there were those who thought that all Israel would be saved because of the promise that was given to Abraham.  In their minds the gospel was just social and communal.  By association with Israel a person was able to be welcomed in to all that God would lavish on his own children.  Jesus turns this on its head.  After the previous miracle, where he shows that Israel has departed on a stifling regime of social control through rules keeping, Jesus now says the entrance to the Kingdom is indeed restrictive.  Jesus talks of a narrow gate, implying a filtering process, but despite of its narrow entrance the Kingdom of God will spread like yeast through dough or grow like a mighty tree from the smallest of seeds.

We see the truth of this from where we are standing 2000 years later.  However, what is the point of entry into God’s Kingdom, it is trust in Jesus himself.  It follows the admission that each of us is helpless and can not admit ourselves into God’s Kingdom by rules keeping, and also we do not keep ourselves in God’s Kingdom by riles keeping.  It is all about committing oneself to a relationship.  There are those who know Jesus and those who do not.  Jesus longs that people will know him.  He has maternal instincts like a mother hen.  However, Jesus allows people the freedom to choose to walk away.  Most people do not want Jesus.  Either they don’t think about him, or they outright reject him.  Those who choose Jesus, and those who do not, will live eternally with the consequences of their choices.

Prayer

I want to know you and the power of your resurrection.  I want to live the life you have called me to live.  I want to experience the Kingdom that I was created for.  Let me communicate its truth clearly so that others will see it and believe.

Questions

  1. What miracle leads Jesus to talk about the Kingdom?
  2. How does Jesus describe the Kingdom?
  3. How do you think people reacted to Jesus’ ‘narrow’ gate gospel?
  4. How do people try and enter God’s kingdom without Jesus?
  5. Who have you told about the centrality of Jesus to 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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