Day 82 – Luke 13:22-35

Narrow, But Necessary.

Luke 13:22-35

Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.– Luke 13:24 NLT

There’s only one way and it’s not the popular or politically correct way. It’s exclusive, intolerant, seemingly discriminatory, restrictive, repressive and narrow-minded. At least from man’s limited perspective. Somehow we want to believe that heaven has an open-door policy with a sign over the doorway that says, “Welcome! Any and all who wish to, many enter here.” No standards. No requirements. No problem. The Jews of Jesus’ day believed they each had a “Golden Ticket” because they were considered God’s chosen people. Their heritage as descendants of Abraham guaranteed them entry into God’s Kingdom. But Jesus rocked their world by informing them that they would be “thrown out” of the Kingdom. The patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be there, along with the prophets, but not them. They would each be persona non grata – unwelcome and unable to stay. Jesus told them that they would “stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’” (Luke 13:25 NLT). But Jesus will reply, “I don’t know you or where you come from” (Luke 13:25 NLT). At that time, they will be hoping that their having been in close proximity with Jesus will be enough to save them. But it will prove insufficient. What they’ll be missing will be a relationship with Jesus. They will have never have expressed faith in Jesus. While there will be people from all over the known world – from every nation, tribe and tongue –  entering into the Kingdom of God, a vast number of Jews would be standing on the outside looking in. And some of the most self-righteous, self-important people in Jesus’ day – the religious leaders – will find that their high place of honor carries no credibility in God’s Kingdom.

Because they have refused to believe in Jesus, they will be refused entrance into His Kingdom. It all boils down to belief. It all rests on faith. It has nothing to do with human effort, achievement, honor, or religious affiliation. The requirement for entrance into the Kingdom of God remains the same for every man, woman and child who has ever lived: Faith in Jesus Christ as the one and only way to have a restored relationship with God the Father. That’s a very narrow door. It is very exclusive. It is highly restrictive. And it is extremely intolerant of any other way. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NLT). He is the access point. He provides the path by which we enter into heaven. Any attempt to find any other way will fail. But those who place their faith in Him alone will discover that He really is the way, the truth and the life.

Father, thank You for providing a way – the way. Yes, it is exclusive, but it is effective. It works. Jesus Christ really does provide a way for men to be made right with You. Nothing else works. Nothing else compares. Nothing else matters. The way may be narrow, but the destination is broad, beautiful and unrestricted in any sense of the word. Amen.

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men