“He [Jesus] 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. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, “Lord, open to us,” then He will answer you, “I do not know where you come 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 where you come from. Depart from Me, all you workers of evil!’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.'”(Luke 13:22-30 ESV)
Over the years I’ve heard many people asking the same question the disciples had: “Will those who are saved be few?” How many people will go to heaven? It’s usually the prelude to an argument about hell and whether a truly loving God would ever allow anybody to go there.
But Jesus cuts this discussion off immediately. Notice how He answers: “You, try to get in through the narrow door. For many people will try to go in and will not be able to.” It’s as if He were saying: “Stop worrying about the total number of people who will be saved. The real question is, What about you? Will you be saved?” Where will you stand, on Judgment Day when Jesus comes to bring His people home?
This is the question Jesus is asking, because it matters to Him. He wants you with Him—wants to make you a forgiven, joyful, healthy, and blessed son or daughter of God. He will be content with nothing less than that. You may not value yourself. Others around you may not treat you as they ought. But Jesus values you—yes, so much that He lay down His life on the cross to have you, to make you His dearly loved child. He broke the power of death through His resurrection for you, so that you, too, would have new life—a life that lasts forever.
Jesus wants you at His table in His kingdom. He has done everything in His power to make that happen. No one but you can stop it. Will you trust Him? Will you come?
Prayer: Dear Savior, bring me safely into Your kingdom—and use me to bring others. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on August 16, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Do you often think of heaven? Why or why not?
2. Why is Jesus so urgent with His disciples about this matter?
3. How do you know that you will be with Jesus in His kingdom forever—on what grounds?