Thursday, February 25, 2021

2021.02.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 13:22–35

Read Luke 13:22–35

Questions from the Scripture text: Through where did He go in Luke 13:22? Toward where? What was He doing? What did one ask Him (Luke 13:23)? What does Jesus tell them to strive to do (Luke 13:24)? What will many seek to do? With what result? If they have not entered when the Master shuts the door, what will happen (Luke 13:25)? What will they protest (Luke 13:26)? How will He answer: what will He say He doesn’t know (Luke 13:27)? What will He command them to do? What will He call them? What will there be (Luke 13:28)? Who will they see where? What will happen to them? From where will people come and do what (Luke 13:29)? What will some last be (Luke 13:30)? What will some first be? On what day does Luke 13:31 occur? Who come to Jesus? What do they tell Him to do? For what reason? What does Jesus call Herod (Luke 13:32)? What will Herod not be able to stop Jesus from doing for the two days? What will Herod not be able to stop Jesus from doing on the third day? So where is Jesus going and why (Luke 13:33)? Who had been sent to Jerusalem before (Luke 13:34)? What had Jesus wanted to do by sending them? What had they done to His messengers? What is going to be the ultimate outcome, now, of Jesus’s visit (Luke 13:35, cf. Luke 13:33)? When will they see Him? What will they say?

This entire passage is tied together by journeying toward Jerusalem (Luke 13:22Luke 13:33Luke 13:35b)—even the images of gates (Luke 13:24) and teaching in the streets (Luke 13:26) are drawn from the trip to Jerusalem and the time there.

But there’s a problem, as Jesus goes up to Jerusalem. It seems like a large number of Israelites are rejecting Him. So one asks, “Lord, are there few who are saved” (Luke 13:23)? It’s the same problem that the apostle is treating, when he deals with his “great sorrow and continual grief” of heart over how many of his “countrymen according to the flesh” are “accursed’ (cf. Romans 9:2–3). It is fitting that such great grief fills both passages.

So, the Lord Jesus doesn’t answer in the arena of election math (how many are saved) but rather in the necessity of having more than church membership and sacraments (“we ate and drank in Your presence,” Luke 13:26), sitting under many sound sermons (“You taught in our streets,” verse 26), and a covenantal understanding of one’s church membership (“Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets,” Luke 13:28). 

You can have all those things, but still be a personal stranger to Christ (“I do not know you,” Luke 13:25Luke 13:27) without a true and real union Him or citizenship in heaven (“where you are from,” verse 25, verse 27), as evidenced in being a “worker of iniquity” (verse 27) rather than a battler against it.

This is why Christ had sent prophets and preachers to Jerusalem (Luke 13:34a)—not to condemn them for their sin, but to gather them to Himself from that sin and against that sin, like a hen gathering her chicks (verse 34b). Indeed, such is the gathering-love of Christ that provokes repentance that they will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and take their seats (Luke 13:29) with the patriarchs and the prophets! Few? Few?! There will be a great multitude!

But it will be a very specific multitude. For each one of us, the place to begin is to see the gathering-love of Jesus, and turn to Him from our sin. To renounce being a worker of iniquity and take refuge under His wings. Then, we will rejoice with our Savior over the multitude who come. And, we will agonize with our Savior over the many who perish (Luke 13:34)—even as we vindicate the justice of God in it all (Luke 13:35).

Hell cannot stop the gathering work of Christ any more than Herod could stop Christ from His ministry (Luke 13:32), or His journey (Luke 13:33), or His death (end of verse 33), or His resurrection (end of verse 32). The resurrected Lord will surely gather to Himself all that are His, and then He will surely return in glory. The primary question for you is not mathematics, but whether He will be your Master when the door of opportunity has closed (Luke 13:25). Are you willing to be His (end of Luke 13:34)? Or would you rather continue as a worker of iniquity? 

How does your life show evidence of gathering to Jesus, hiding in Jesus, loving Jesus, & obeying Jesus?

Suggested Songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH440 “Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Wretched”


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