Adult 1 Sunday School Class Entering God’s Kingdom July 22, 2018
Theme: People desire to be rewarded for what they consider acceptable behavior. What kind of behavior is acceptable? Jesus taught that we must bear good fruit and come to him through a narrow way. Please interpret the meaning of the following verses.
The interpretation of the verses is in bold print which follows the original verse in regular print.
Luke 13: 22 “And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.” Luke describes Jesus’ teaching, preaching, and healing as He ministered to the people in Galilee as He made His way to Jerusalem where His earthly ministry would end, and the purpose of His life would be revealed.
*v.23a “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved?” The question was asked who and how many would be saved. To be saved is to have eternal life in God’s Kingdom after their earthly death. Christ does not answer directly. During this time, it was widely accepted that all Jews, except for tax collectors and those who disregarded the Word of God. When Christ said that the way was narrow and that few would find it (Matt 7:14), seemed to discourage potential converts. If convention was that most Jews would go to heaven, what about the Gentiles, if Jesus is preaching a universal message?
*vs.23b and 24 “And he said unto them, 24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke uses the “door” as the symbolic entry way into the Kingdom, Matthew uses the “gate”. (Matt 7:14) Jesus says that one must “strive”, vigorously seek to obtain the goal of passing through the narrow doorway that leads to eternal life. It is by following the Gospel of Jesus Christ that one is saved through their faith and God’s grace. Once inside the door, Christ depicts a feast for all of those who have entered the Kingdom of God. Although Jesus does not answer the question about how many will enter, but more importantly at what point the door will close, and those left outside are too late to ever enter. (What this verse is saying, live a godly life so that on the Day of Judgment, you will be among those who enter into the Kingdom. This life must be exemplary prior to your earthly death, at that time your fate is sealed.)
*vs.25, 26 and 27, “ When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are; 26. Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27. But he shall say, I tell you, i know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” Those who are saved will enter into the Master’s House. He will judge who will enter and who will not; and at what time the door will be opened and closed for ever. Those who don’t get in, is because they did not make God first in their lives due to pride, because of the sinner’s desire to sin, and because of the world’s and Satan’s opposition to the truth. They deluded themselves into thinking that they know the Master and beg to be let in. These people had denied the Master when He was outside of the house, and now the Master says that He doesn’t know them.
*v.28, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” Luke continues in which the House represents God’s Kingdom and the Master is God. All of those who have accepted on faith the Gospel have entered into the House. The narrow doorway has closed and those who have selected not to accept Jesus is on the outside looking in. They choose the short-term self-indulgences of earth and rejected God for the eternal life that He can provide. “Weeping” represents sorrow and grief, and the “gnashing of teeth” is the physical sorrow and rage felt among the “excluded.” They try to say that the Master knows them, and most are Jews who felt that by being the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they would automatically be admitted. Then, when Gentiles were admitted from all parts of the known world, it demonstrated that salvation was for all not just the Jews.
*vs.29 and 30, “And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.” In conclusion, there will be a role reversal, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Salvation is opened to all, but they must accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not all will enter, but there is a finite time to accept and once the door closes (Day of Judgment) no one else will be admitted.