Read Luke Chapter 13
It is inherent within us to determine ‘how we are doing’ in relation to ‘making it’ to whatever one thinks heaven is; what happens when we die? will we make it? We instinctively know that we must give an account of ourselves (Romans 1:32, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). We compare ourselves to one another and wonder if one sin is greater than another and consider whether perhaps one deserves to be punished more than someone else. Things can get very emotive when one suggests, for example, that upon repentance of their sins even Hitler or Stalin could be forgiven. And this is Jesus’ point in the opening of this chapter, that when all is said and done:
Luke 13:5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
And we might learn, among other things, from the parable which follows that God is patient, not wanting any to perish (2 Peter 3:9)(13:6-9).
Upon gaining the new life Jesus gives we seek to do good at all times if we can and not seek to live a life only keeping to prescribed religious practices. Jesus again shows what the Kingdom of God will be like by comparison to how they might have previously thought; the Kingdom is for the whole world, not just the Jews and will spread until it reaches every part of it (13:10-17).
Even though the message will spread, the church will grow and be a huge blessing and influence upon the world stage, finding the way to life will still be difficult. It still requires us to seek the narrow way. Not all who try to enter will be able to. Jesus knows that Christianity will take many forms and not many of those will prescribe the narrow way. But nevertheless, some will find the way (13:18-30):
Luke 13:29 “And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.”
Jesus is warned that Herod was after Him to kill Him. But He asks for a message to be relayed, basically saying that it’s not really down to Herod when He dies, Jesus will die as has been predetermined by God and this at the epicentre of all Judaism which will be hugely symbolic and significant.
Jesus is aggrieved at the Jews who seemed to do everything but follow God as they should have and instead have rejected all those prophets who were sent to show the way. It may be all over for the Jewish institution for now, but likewise, God is still making His appeal to us. Their rejection of Jesus (Romans 11:15) has made it possible for us to be made right with God through the Cross of Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and be in a right relationship with our God again (13:31-35). Let us not reject the Gospel or the messenger who brings it to you; instead say:
Luke 13:35 “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”