Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 26:1-20; Luke 13:18-35
He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” (Luke 13:22–24)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If you look at Jesus from a modern perspective, this is when the wheels start to fall off during His ministry. He has set His eyes for Jerusalem, and He is inexorably being drawn to that hill outside the city. As He gets closer, and as that Good Friday draws nearer, the number of His followers becomes fewer and fewer, until only John and Mary are with Him at the cross. Even now He warns His hearers that they will run from Him, and from salvation, soon enough.
How narrow is the door of salvation? It is only as wide as Jesus’s Cross, for He is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life given by which you may be saved. “Did God really say that? Does Jesus really mean that? Surely, if God loves us He won’t be so judgey!” You’ve probably heard variations of those questions at some point. The whole thrust is that God can only save if He works the way *I* want Him to. It is a very selfish and exclusive way to think, not to mention a wholesale slap in the face to the First Commandment.
On the other hand, passing through the narrow door should be the easiest option in front of you. It doesn’t require anything from you by way of works. It seems odd, maybe, that Jesus tells you to “strive to enter” by believing and trusting Him only. But that’s how He has given Himself to you and for you. You can only believe and trust with the faith that He has given to you by the power of the Holy Spirit in your Baptism and strengthened by visits to the altar for the Supper.
Enter by the narrow door of Jesus’ Cross, for it is the only way, and you have already been drawn through it by the working of God for you in Jesus. Thanks be to God for the victory! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. Duane Bamsch
O Lord, You have called us to enter Your kingdom through the narrow door. Guide us by Your Word and Spirit, and lead us now and always into the feast of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.