K.Y.E.O.J. – VI. the narrow gate

Welcome to part 6! We are approaching the end of Lent and I have one last post coming up next week to wrap up this series. Hallelujah! Thank God for Jesus! We shall be left with nothing more than Jesus, that is my prayer in Jesus’ name.

Today we want to sit with Luke 13:23-27:

Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”

And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 

When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 

then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 

But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 

I oftentimes sense pride in people who say “only a few will be saved”. The way they say it implies that they are a part of the “few” and that the people they are secretly thinking of as they say it, are not. Most probably, they are looking around for approval while saying it, too. It can sound so very righteous, right?

I love the way Jesus answers: “strive to enter through the narrow gate.” He is telling the man that he himself must strive to be saved. The narrow gate is Jesus, he must believe in Jesus and Jesus only. Belonging to a group does not give you salvation. Doing all the good works does not give you salvation – that would be trying to enter through a different gate but Jesus. No, you need to believe in Christ yourself and you need a real, personal relationship with Him. The fruits of that relationship will show.

“Strive even to an agony; or as they did for the garland in the Olympic games, to which the word agonizomai, here used, seemeth to allude.” (Trapp) … It is necessary to strive to enter because there are many obstacles in the way. The world is an obstacle. The devil is an obstacle. Probably the worst obstacle is our own flesh.”

Enduring Word commentary on Luke 13

In the essence, it is a fight of faith. Look at other bible verses which use the word “agonizomai (strive)”:

  • “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.” (1. Co 9:25)
  • “To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” (Col 1:29)
  • “Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” (Col 4:12)
  • Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1. Ti 6:12)
  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2. Ti 4:7)

Is it not an honor to strive for such a price? We do it with the power, love, and self-discipline of the Holy Spirit! Only with the help of the Holy Spirit will we be able to do it! Seek it, ask for it, and fight well the good fight of faith until only the name of Jesus remains in your heart! Until only Jesus sits on the throne of your heart! Do it again and again, go deeper and deeper with Him – know Him with the faith that you are known by Him. Let us strive to enter through the narrow gate until we finish the race.

Oh Jesus, thank you for believing in someone like me. Equip us for good works and train us! I choose to fight fiercely for my faith even today; to know you deeper, to have you as my only One in my heart. Your name be lifted high, Jesus. In Your name I pray for everyone who reads this. Amen.

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