The Narrow Way: 2016 Gospel of Luke #54
This is an exposition of Luke 13:22-30. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, April 9, 2017.
We are spoiled. I’m not just talking about material wealth, although most of us have far more than we need. We have more clothes than we can wear, more house than we use, food we throw away – so yes, I am talking about material things but not exclusively. I mean also spoiled by our options. Just think about going out to eat. At the risk of sounding like an old man, I kind of miss those good old days in Pawnee. If we wanted to go out to eat we had two choices. We could go to Clicks or there was Sonic. Now, by the time we figure out where we’re going to eat – they’re closed! As for television, between cable, satellite, Netflix, Hulu and the like we have our choice of a thousand channels and still can’t find anything to watch. It’s not just variety it’s instant access. I want it yesterday but I’ll settle for getting within the next 5 minutes. Years ago, while in Argentina the family we were visiting was so excited because they had just gotten a telephone – and they only waited 8 years! I was embarrassed when they asked how long we had to wait for a phone. Excess, variety and access plays into every aspect of our lives, even religion. You’ve got your choice. I read this week there are 1000 organized religions in the United States. Each with its own belief system, its own doctrine of God, its own explanation of reality, view of humanity and sense of destiny. One thousand. Picture yourself standing in a hallway with 1000 doors, as far as you could see. Take your pick. There are those who would tell you, “It really doesn’t matter which one you pick they all lead to the same place. Go ahead, step through any one you want it leads to heaven.” But what if that’s not true? What if some of those doors don’t lead to anywhere? Worse, what if some of those doors lead to hell?
Our faith is an exclusive faith. Our Savior had the nerve to say things like, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by Me…I have come that you might have life and have it to the full…come unto Me all who are weary and heavy ladened and I will give you rest.” He dared to say that he and the Father were one. He claimed to forgive sin. No wonder the religious establishment was upset with him. It’s also not surprising that our pluralistic culture would be bothered by the same claims. Thus many seem compelled to serve as public relations representatives for our Lord. Let’s tone down those exclusive claims. “He didn’t mean that. Some of his zealous followers placed those words in his mouth – he never made such claims.” We neither serve our Lord or anyone else if we “tone down” his message. We serve the kingdom and humanity when we preach the gospel as delivered by our Lord and Master. Our text this morning in found in the 13th chapter of Luke’s Gospel beginning with the 13:22.
Text: Luke 13:22-30
We are in the last year of our Lord’s earthly life and ministry. Most likely we are in the last six months. He has set his face for Jerusalem. There is no turning back, he is on his march to the cross. The closer he came to his own destiny the more he spoke about the destiny of all men. Thus he called on the people to understand the times and to repent before it was too late. Now, as he moves from town to village on his way to Jerusalem he is asked a very important question.
What is made clear in this encounter is that…
Thesis: Love demands we be absolutely truthful when declaring the biblical message of salvation.
John tells us grace and truth have there being in the person of the Lord Jesus. When we speak of Christ and his mission we must speak the truth but that truth most be wrapped in grace. Truth and grace, one without the other is no gospel at all. This is what we find in our Lord’s response to this question. Let’s look at it together.
There are three things I want us to note.
- The biblical gospel makes plain the need for personal commitment. (13:22-24)
- The biblical gospel warns of the danger of presumption. (13:25-28)
- The biblical gospel celebrates the inclusive nature of God’s glorious salvation. (13:29-30)
Love demands we be absolutely truthful when declaring the biblical message of salvation.
We must make plain the need for personal commitment.
We must warn of the danger of presumption.
We must celebrate the inclusive nature of God’s glorious salvation.