October 27, 2021 - Door of Opportunity - A Reflection on Luke 13:22-30

Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 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.’ “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ “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. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Have you ever met a movie star or a celebrity? I am pretty sure you got quite a kick out of it, even if you wouldn’t like to admit it. Now, here’s the real question: what real difference did that encounter make to your life? Nothing, unless you became friends with that particular person and your life took a totally different turn as a result. So, have you met Jesus? I think you have already got the point I am going to make, but let me emphasize it. 

Someone asked Jesus the question: Will only a few people be saved? Jesus points the way to the gate and says it is available to all, but only the determined will enter; those who make a conscious choice to walk through the gate. The gate, of course, is Jesus. “I am the gate,” (John 10:7).  He declares. Another time he says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). 

You want to get to the Father in Heaven, you gotta go through the gate. And the gate is Jesus. Much as people might want you believe that there are multiple gates that can take you to heaven, there aren’t. There is just the one. Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”. 

Jesus says we need to “strive to enter through the narrow gate”. The first point to note is he tells us to STRIVE to enter it, not stroll through it whenever we feel like we have nothing better to do. Doesn’t this “striving” negate grace? No. God wants everybody to be saved. Let us be in no doubt about that. And he has made it possible through Jesus. This is pure grace, that God has given us a doorway to heaven through no effort of ours. But deciding to walk through that door has to be our choice; God isn’t gonna yank us through it. 

And that choice is gonna take some effort. Why? This brings us to the second point. Because the gate is narrow and exclusive, it’s not wide and all-inclusive. The gate that is wide is the one leading to destruction. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (see Matthew 7:13). Which brings us to the third point. Why do only a few find it? Because, quite frankly, most couldn’t be bothered looking for it. The majority believes that once they they are dead everything is over. So why do they need a gate? 

If any of you who are watching this believe that I have only one question: What if death isn’t the end?