Thursday, February 25th Luke 13:22-29

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’ 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, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” Luke 13:22-29

What do we do with these verses? How do we hear these scary words from Jesus?

Maybe you don’t hear them as scary.

“For many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able…”

“I do not know where you come from.”

“Go away from me, all you evildoers!”

“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, and you yourselves thrown out.”

Personally, I find them scary.

Now I could get all “Lutheran” on you and explain how we listen to the Bible – listening for the Law which guides our lives and convicts us of sin, and the Gospel, which comforts us and gives us life. I really do read the Bible that way…but sometimes I get a bit suspicious about it. I wonder if the result is simply taming the experience of really hearing the text. Rather than letting the Word do its work on us, we just run for the hills of our theology.

Today, let’s hear the text. Jesus says here that we can miss the boat. We can be left behind. He is speaking with the voice of a prophet. The best way to listen to such a voice? LISTEN to it and act accordingly.

The Christian faith isn’t a word game. It is a transformed way of seeing and doing life. Today Jesus reminds us that there is a narrow way of life that is hard. Hard sometimes to find and hard always to follow. It means playing “Follow the Leader”…and we don’t get to be the leader. It means making choices in the best interests of someone else. It means sharing what we have. It means speaking up for those with no voice. It means living lives of courage, compassion, humility and patience – all of those aspects of our character which don’t feel like they come naturally.

When it comes to the Christian faith, we do well not to get caught up in heady games of intellectual conjecture, not to fixate on the splinter in our neighbor’s eye, not to hide behind walls of “us” versus “them”. The narrow way is a costly way.

The narrow way is love.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, it is frightening to imagine looking you in the eye and then hearing that we missed the boat. It is sad to think that anyone might have that experience. So we pray that you guide down the narrow path of discipleship, and that you fill our hearts with compassion for those who are lost, like sheep without a shepherd, those blindly stumbling down broad paths that promise life but lead to death. And when we are the lost ones, touch us with your love, forgive us, and bring us home. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


3 Responses to “Thursday, February 25th Luke 13:22-29”

  1. Kitty Hackenberg Says:

    Thanks for your daily devotions. They are a great help to me in my daily walk. My husband has dementia and I’ve become a caregiver. Today’s passage was very meaningful since my life is devoted to his care. That isn’t always easy.

    • Marlys Says:

      Ii am so happy to have you back also – today is really a challenge. I like Kitty am dealing with a spouse’s dementia. I feel out of my element many times, yet I know God has control of our lives. I pray for the stamina to follow his commands. And always hope for tomorrow.

  2. Karen J Says:

    I too found this passage scary when reading it more than a year ago. Interestingly, especially in light of the previous 2 comments, my sister finally decided to take over my previous 12 year guardianship of my mother who has dementia. I also worked until 6 years ago when I got so sick myself I was forced into early retirement. I was also newly married to a once childhood friend whose dad then developed dementia and the primary care fell to my husband and me. We leaned on God plenty and many times felt at the end of ourselves but He kept us putting one foot in front of the other. I hope this is where the narrow gate comes in because it is VERY HARD. I wondered why all the years before this passage was more peaceful to me and now that I was able to concentrate more on my husband and my own health as well that I found myself breaking down. Had I lost my mission in life with my sister taking over? It’s been a bit over a year and I found a new mission, a new normal, but still very hard. I pray we all get it right here on earth because I believe we would all rather have it hard here than when it’s too late. Please let us all join in prayer to learn how to correct ourselves when we miss the mark.

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