Luke, the Evangelist, tells us that Jesus was preaching and teaching throughout the towns and villages of Israel while He was making His way to Jerusalem. Jesus told them that many would come from “east and west, north and south” seeking to enter the kingdom of God but that to come in, they must enter through the “narrow door.” (Luke 13: 22-30)
Jesus is that narrow door, the narrow way! Remember how He told His disciples, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14: 6)
As He approached Jerusalem, itself, “some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to Him, ‘Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill You.’” (Luke 13: 31) Do you wonder why the Pharisees warned Jesus? They hated Jesus, but they also hated Herod! You know what they say, “Politics make strange bed fellows!” It was true then, and it is certainly true today, as well!
Jesus’ reply is the harshest reply to (or about) any single individual recorded in the New Testament. He characterizes Herod as a sly, insignificant, worthless leader when says, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach My goal.’ In any case I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day…” (Luke 13: 32-33) In other words, He was saying “Tell Herod that he’s not in charge! God is! And I will not be deterred. I have come to cast out demons; to heal; and to do My Father’s will. I have come to bring salvation to the World, and will do what I must do – today, tomorrow and as long as it takes!”
The heart of Jesus’ message is that He was the Messiah – the promised One from the beginning of Creation. He was the bringer of Good News – He IS The Good News! He came to take the sins of the world upon Himself; die for us; and give us forgiveness and everlasting life! Earlier in the gospel, Luke reported that “Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind… [so they could report to John the Baptist] the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” (Luke 7: 21-22) ALL of these were works of the long-foretold, anticipated, predicted, prophesied Messiah. Jesus IS that Messiah – our Savior and the Savior of the World!
As He stood outside Jerusalem, Jesus mourned over the people’s unbelief and stubbornness to repent, believe and be saved! “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Luke 13: 34) Jesus tenderly called, then, and He still calls today – to the whole world, to the people of the United States, to Kansas, to Wichita and to us. He tenderly calls to those of non-Christian faiths, to the young and old, to those of every generation and to the multitudes. He tenderly calls us to repentance, to faith and to Himself – the narrow door, the narrow way! Come to Him and pray, invite and bring with you friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates and any others from “east and west, north and south” seeking to enter the kingdom of God. The Savior is tenderly calling!
See you in church this next weekend!
Blessings in Christ,