Lent 15 (2012)–A Disquieting and Uncomfortable Lesson

Luke 13:22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

The Songs of Ascents are carried on the wind to the towns and villages through which pilgrims traveled on their way to the Temple in Jerusalem.  Expect Opposition.  Gaze Beyond the Hills.  Seek God’s Presence and Know His Peace.  Cry Out ‘Have Mercy!’ Remember God’s Way of Escape.  These are the discipleship lessons of our journey.

Some discipleship lessons are hard to accept.  God’s Way of Escape is one of them. 

I don’t know about you, but there’s a part of me that is uncomfortable with the idea that some will be in the Kingdom of heaven and some will not.  Moreover, if I’m honest with you, I can tell you that some who will be in the Kingdom I would probably have liked to put outside and some who will end up outside of the Kingdom I’d wish were in.

The whole concept of election to salvation is complex, disquieting and uncomfortable.

Is it disquieting because it’s out of my control and requires my trust in the holy character of God to always do what is right?

God’s Way of Escape requires uncomfortable faith.  God doesn’t ask my opinion on what I think justice and mercy look like.

There are many people who look at passages like our Scriptures for today and believe it must be erroneous somehow.  After all, it goes against the grain of our culture to believe that Jesus would have a narrow door.  But according to Jesus, “many…will try to enter” but “not be able to” do so.  Being able to enter requires faith and the righteousness that comes by faith.  We cannot rely on our own righteousness no matter what good people we might think we have been.

In today’s Scriptures, the owner of the house (a picture of God) tells us what the narrow door involves and what the identity badge for entry looks like:

  • “I don’t know you”—the narrow door requires a relationship with God and an identity badge clearly stating Child by Faith.
  • “or where you come from.”—the narrow door involves one God-given way (Jesus), not a million different ways.   The identity badge says Believer in Jesus.
  • “Away from me, all you evildoers!”—the narrow door is holy and the identity badge says Righteous (not evildoer).

For the Kingdom of heaven to remain true to its namesake, it must remain a holy place for children of faith, believing in Jesus Christ, who have been made righteous by His death for their sins. 

Clearly, God’s Way of Escape was not a comfortable one for Jesus, either.

For further reflection:  It’s an uncomfortable and difficult discipleship lesson to acknowledge “God’s Way of Escape.”  Take time today to pray about your reaction to Jesus’ words.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 9, 2012

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