In my daily Bible reading for Sunday I came across this challenging section of Luke 13, which I read in Eugene Petersen’s translation, The Message. Jesus is speaking in response to the question, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He probably surprised them with this answer:
…The way to life – to GOD!-is vigorous and requires your total attention. A lot of you are going to assume that you’ll sit down to God’s salvation banquet just because you’ve been hanging around the neighborhood all your lives. Well, one day you’re going to banging on the door, wanting to get in, but you’ll find the door locked and the Master saying, “Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.”
You’ll protest, ‘But we’ve known you all our lives! Only to be interrupted with his abrupt, ‘Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing. You don’t know the first thing about me.’
Luke 13:23-27, The Message
It’s a harsh word – an invitation to soul searching. How much do WE know about this One we are to be following? How much do we know about what He did, and said, and asked us to do? How willing are we to find out, and to commit ourselves to living as He called us to live?
Our movement through the Lord’s Prayer has already revealed much about His character and the character He desires to see built in us. We are to live as children of God – obedient children, who trust in God’s power and desire to affect and change the course of our lives and the lives of all of God’s children; children who are committed to living in a way that brings only honor and glory to this One to whom we belong. We are to live in willingness to do what He says, and be what He calls to be. We are to submit our wills to His Will, no matter the cost. We are to acknowledge and keep in view our deep, total dependence on His providence to provide what we need when we need it, not what we want when we want it; not just for us as individuals but for all of His children everywhere.
This week we will look at how we have been radically, completely forgiven and restored to grace; and how that forgiveness calls us forward to be radically forgiving to others.
It isn’t easy to be followers of Jesus. It’s just the only way of life that can satisfy our longing for purpose and hope and possibility. It’s just the only way of life that matters; that is truly worth it.
I’ll see you at the forgiving, restoring, renewing place soon.