The Narrow Door
22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward 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.”
Observations and Reflections
The door metaphor and this interaction with “someone” is unique to Luke. 3 of the popular sayings in this passage appear in Matthew but the rest is only in Luke’s gospel.
For reference here is an overview of the gospel parallel.
The lesson given by Jesus about the narrow door serves as a warning to those who wish to enter heaven but are not willing to truly be born again. Just as wearing a lab coat doesn’t make me a doctor, neither does claiming to be a Christian make me a Christian. Jesus is saying that many will seek to enter heaven but not all will have truly repented and actually followed Jesus. Being a Christian requires a change in heart and a change in our actions. We must have both faith and works for even the demons believe in Jesus.
Living out the Christian life is not easy. It requires giving up your old life and all that you desired for a life that whole heartedly pursues Jesus Christ and finding your ultimate satisfaction in Him. It states that we ought to be set apart and different from the rest of the world and live a life that is dedicated to serving Him in whatever aspect we are called to.
Jesus makes it clear that there is a major distinction between those who choose the easy road and those who followed after Christ. There is no middle ground when it comes to the Christian life. Either you are truly committed to Jesus Christ and living out the Christian faith or you are not.
Jesus is painting a black and white picture for us. He tells His followers that there will come a time in which God will be the judge of this world and will distinguish those who followed after Him with their whole hearts and those who did not. The end result is either spending eternity with Him or being eternally separated.
This passage serves both as a warning and encouragement. For those who are Christians we are encouraged with the thought of one day spending eternity with God and as a result, we are motivated to live out the Christian life to the fullest while here on earth. For those who have heard the Gospel and are not receiving it, there will come a day in which they will no longer have that chance.
However, today is still an opportunity to choose to follow after Christ. The road is narrow but what it holds is an everlasting joy, peace and satisfaction in Jesus Christ.