Read: Luke 13v22–30
Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 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.’
“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
“But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
Meditate: Jesus is asked who is going to be saved. Surprisingly he doesn’t respond with what someone must positively do. He merely warns his listeners against presumption and then tells them that there will come a time when the people who thought they were ‘automatically’ part of God’s people will find that they’re outside, while plenty who never imagined they’d have anything to do with the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be inside.
The shocking warning to the insiders is matched by the surprising grace towards the outsiders. It is a shocking reminder to recognize that everything we have, everything we are, is a gift from God, and that neither we nor anybody else deserve it.
Pray: Thank you, Father, for your generous love. Help me, today and everyday, to trust in you, not in myself.
Engage: Put a list of things for which you’re grateful in your pocket. Take it out and read it every time you catch yourself complaining.