Vol. 19, No. 29 – August 2, 2020
Enter through the narrow door / gate or be rejected, vs. 22-30. This is paralleled in Mat 7:13-22.
Luke used the two previous images, (mustard seed and leaven), to introduce two incidents, vs. 22-30, and vs. 31-35, each foreshadowing future difficulties.
Luke 13:22-24, “He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. 23And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them.”
In vs. 23, the person rightly addressed Jesus as “Lord,” KURIOS, which is equivalent to the Hebrew YHWH, sometimes pronounced Jehovah, which is the name of God. Therefore, using the name “Lord” in addressing Jesus identifies Him as God.
The question asked was “Are there just a few who are being saved?” “Few,” is the contrasting Adjective OLIGOS, ὀλίγος that means, “little, small, short, or few.” It is typically used in a contrast between small and large, little and great, or few and many, as in our passage. We noted this in Luke 10:2, “And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest”.”
This person wanted to know if others would be saved and if so how many? He asked if only a small number of people would be saved by the Christ, most likely including himself. Jesus answered the question by challenging this person, and all, to confront their own personal spiritual condition.
“Saved,” is the Present, Passive, Participle, Nominative, Plural of the Verb SOZO, σῴζω that means, “save, keep safe, preserve, rescue, or make well.” In this passage, it has to do with the Kingdom of God and one’s eternal salvation. It is used throughout the NT for salvation, including past salvation, which is the day one believes in Jesus as their Savior and receive eternal life.
John 10:9, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Rom 5:9-10, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
Rom 10:9, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Acts 2:21, “AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” Cf. Joel 2:32; Rom 10:13.
Rom 10:13, “For “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED”.”
1 Cor 1:18, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Cor 1:21, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
Heb 7:25, “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
Eph 2:5, “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”
Eph 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Faith is the only system of perception, which is totally apart from any human merit, (cf., rationalism and empiricism). In faith, only the object of faith has merit, and in salvation the object of our faith must be the Lord Jesus Christ. How much faith does it take to be saved? Just a little bit more than no faith at all, as little as a mustard seed, the smallest seed on the earth, Luke 13:18-19. Therefore, salvation is by grace through faith, 2 Tim 1:9.
2 Tim 1:9, “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”
As a matter of grace, salvation is entirely the work of God. It is the work of the Father in judging our sins, the work of the Son in being judged for our sins, and the work of the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace, to teach us the gospel and make our faith in it effective for salvation. This is why the way of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ, and faith alone with no works added to it.
In the early church, there were false teachers of false doctrines as to how one would be saved, just as there continues to be today, cf. Acts 15:1; 2 Tim 3:1-15.
Acts 15:1, “Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
They tried to apply the Law to the means of their salvation, which was a system of works for salvation that in fact does not save anyone, Rom 3:20-22, 28; 4:2-5, 14; Gal 2:16.
Rom 3:20-22, “Because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for through the Law is the knowledge of sin. But now, apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the prophets (OT), even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe.”
Rom 3:28, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the Law.”
Rom 4:14, “For if those who by means of the Law are heirs, then faith has been made void, and the promises have been canceled.”
Gal 2:16, “Nevertheless, knowing that a (spiritually dead) person is not justified by the works of the Law, but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; because by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified.”
Today, many continue to teach a system of works for salvation that is a false concept and false doctrine.
The reason works cannot save you is that the Holy Spirit can only make faith, and faith alone, effective for salvation! Why? Because, if human works are added, the faith is no longer simply trusting in Christ, it is trusting in SELF. Self cannot save self. Only Christ has the power and merit to save us. Works added to faith in Christ are dead works, and the Holy Spirit does not make dead works effective for salvation. Therefore, if someone added any works when they believed in Jesus Christ, they were not saved at that point. If they added anything to faith, God the Holy Spirit will not touch it, and so there is no efficacious grace. Either it is by faith and grace or it is not.
Rom 4:2-5, “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” 4Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
That is why the true doctrine of salvation is through the narrow door / gate of faith through Jesus Christ alone, Acts 15:11; 16:30-31; Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7.
Acts 15:11, “But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”
Acts 16:30-31, “And after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household”.”
Titus 3:4-7, “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7So that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Luke 13:24, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”
“Strive,” is the Present, Middle Deponent, Imperative of Command, Second Person, Plural of the verb AGONIZOMAI, ἀγωνίζομαι that means, “strive, contend, or enter a contest.” He is saying in response to the question, “You all strive.”
In the Greek language, AGONIZOMAI was used as a legal term for continuing and winning a case, a military term regarding the battle to be fought, and in athletics as a term regarding the contest in the public games that one enters into so that they can contend for victory. In Hellenistic Judaism, the idea of a contest might be used metaphorically to refer to the struggle which a godly person has to go through in this world. Some define it as, “to strain every nerve to the uttermost towards the goal.” This is where we get our English word “agonize” from. It suggests that a person puts forth special effort to reach the goal.
Here, it means that the unbeliever must pay special attention, focus, and concentration on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as to the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, so that they can receive salvation.
It is used 8 times, (the number of new things and resurrection), in the NT. Its first use is in Luke’s gospel, and only Luke uses it regarding salvation through Christ. As such, that is the backdrop of all the other usages in the NT. John used it when Jesus spoke of His Kingdom in Heaven to Pontius Pilate, John 18:36.
John 18:36, “Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm”.”
All the other usages have to do with post salvation living, and striving to live the unique Christian life of the Church Age, 1 Cor 9:25; Col 1:29; 4:12; 1 Tim 4:10; 6:12; 2 Tim 4:7.
1 Tim 4:10, “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.”
The thing Jesus is commanding the unbelievers to do is strive “to enter,” (EISERCHOMAI), “through,” (DIA), “the narrow door,” (HO STENOS THURA). STENOS is only used in this narrative here and Mat 7:13-14.
Mat 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
In Luke’s gospel, some manuscripts have PULE here translated as “gate.” That is the more popular saying from Matthew’s account, and it seems Luke’s gospel had a change in some ancient manuscripts to PULE, in order to align better with Matthew’s gospel. But that is not necessary because the meaning is the same either way. Salvation is found by having faith alone in Christ alone. Cf. John 10:1-10; 14:6; 20:31.
John 10:9, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
John 14:6, “Jesus said to him (Thomas), “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”.”
John 20:31, “But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
In the second half of this verse, “For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”
“For many will seek,” HOTI POLUS ZETEO, ζητέω in the Future, Active, Indicative that means, “seek, look for, wish for, desire, or inquire into or about.” “To enter,” EISERCHOMAI once again, “and will not be able,” KAI OUK ISCHUO, in the future, Active, Indicative that means, “not be strong, able, forceful, or prevail.” ISCHUO ties in with AGONIZOMAI, (strive), above, saying they are not able to win, that is gain salvation under their own power and strength.
ISCHUO is one of several Greek words for power or ability. Although DUNAMAI is the more common term for “ability,” ISCHUO is more forceful and stronger. Therefore, using ISCHUO here places more emphasis on the power one possesses than with DUNAMAI. By using ISCHUO, it indicates that by our own human power and resources we are “not able, without power and resources” to save ourselves. This tells us once again, that we cannot be saved by our human good works, Eph 2:8-9. We do not have the strength or force to prevail in achieving our salvation. But through faith in Jesus Christ, “the narrow door,” God gives us salvation. Therefore, through the non-meritorious act of faith alone in Christ alone, we are saved.
This tells us that through faith in Jesus Christ we share in His strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict that He won upon the Cross. Yet, if we do not have faith alone in Christ alone, we do not prevail, i.e., share in His victory.
Why would anyone seeking to enter the Kingdom be ruled out by God? There are a number of possible reasons:
1) Some will want to enter on their own terms. This was a barrier faced by the religious teachers of Jesus’ day. Their idea of salvation was to get God to conform to their idea of religion.
2) Some will try to enter the Kingdom by their good works, not realizing that man’s good works are nothing more than filthy rags in God’s sight, Isa 64:6.
3) Some will miss out because they have a false view of the nature of God. They believe that because God is love, He will let everyone in.
4) Some will lose out because they procrastinate. Once death has come, there is no second chance for salvation. This is the topic of the following verses, vs. 25-30.
There are many more reasons why, as they are the wide gate and the broad roads that lead to destruction.
“Jesus never offered people the message, “Look, just be sincere. Simply adhere to the religion of your choice and think positively about God. Look deep within yourself to find the good and accentuate the positive; that’s good enough for God, and He’ll let you into heaven when you die.” On the contrary, to enter heaven, one must approach the approved entrance, which usually remained open during daylight hours and was closed at night.” (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary).
Therefore, there is one way, and one way only, by which anyone is saved, and that is through faith in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross. This includes that the Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sins upon the Cross, died, was buried and rose on the third day, ascended into heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. If you believe that, you are saved and will be part of the eternal Kingdom of God. That is the narrow door, whereas anything else is part of the wide door and broad road that leads to eternal destruction.
Luke 13:25, “Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from’.”
This is a metaphor regarding the judgment of God, most likely Jesus Christ, towards the unbeliever who has rejected Him as their Savior during their life time here on earth. A similar “shutting of the door,” is found in the parable of the 10 Virgins, Mat 25:10. The door being shut here is the narrow door of faith in Jesus as their Savior.
“Head of the house,” is the Noun OIKODESPOTES, οἰκοδεσπότης, a compound of OIKOS, “house,” and DESPOTES, “ruler,” that means, “master of a house, or head of a household.” It is only used in the synoptic gospels. Luke used this word in Luke 13:39, and will again in 14:21; 22:11. Mark uses it once in Mark 14:14; and Matthew more than the others, uses it 7 times, Mat 10:25; 13:27, 52; 20:1, 11; 21:33; 24:43.
By analogy, the Master of the House is God, who at some point in time will end the opportunity for everyone’s’ salvation. There is also a subtle reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the words “gets up,” EGEIRO, in the Greek that can be used for “to raise or resurrect” someone. Therefore, this is speaking of a time period post Christ’s resurrection, when the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict had been won. Subsequent to Jesus’ resurrection, He ascended to heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. As such, Jesus is now enthroned and ready to judge.
“Shuts the door,” APOKLEIO HO THURA, speaks to the head of the house closing the door for the night after the family has come in. It speaks to the time when God will gather all believers into heaven, after which no others will be able to enter, as the door will be shut.
This imagery and analogy is also seen in Noah’s Ark, where after the believing family had entered, the door was shut. Then, when the judgment of rain came upon the unbelievers of the earth, they could not enter the Ark. The door could not be opened up for them, Gen 7:6-16.
Gen 7:16, “Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it, (the door to the Ark), behind him.”
This is also seen in the “law of cleaning leprosy from a house.” Once the door of the infected house was shut, no one could enter, and the disease within the house was torn down and thrown outside the city in an unclean place, Lev 14:33-55. This scene even represents the 7 year Tribulation and Millennial reign as time periods of inspection, to see if the disease continues or not, i.e., unbelief continues or not.
Therefore, because the unbeliever did not enter through the “narrow door” of faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, that door will one day be closed to them, never to be opened to them again. This occurs towards the unbeliever upon their death, the 2nd Advent of Jesus, or the end of the Millennial Reign, depending on which time period they lived in.
As stated above, this same analogy is also used in Mat 25:10-11, (the Parable of the 10 Virgins), regarding the five who did not have oil in their lamps, (i.e., unbelievers that were not prepared for the coming of the Bridegroom).
As such, “shutting the door” is a picture of finality. As here, and in Mat 25:10, Jesus is saying there was a time and opportunity when the door was open. Yet, now it is shut and no one can open it, cf. Rev 3:7. Our lives here on earth are the time and place for us to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior. If someone does not do that during their life time here on earth, the door will be shut for them forever, never to be reopened or offered again. There are no second chances in the eternal state.
“Begin to” uses ARCHO that means, “rule, begin, or reign.” This is an interesting play on words, as it typically is translated for power and authority, or rulership. Therefore, we see that these individuals saw themselves as their own authority, rather than accepting the authority of Jesus Christ over their souls and lives. Because of their self-righteous arrogance, they did not need a Savior.
With that self-centered authority, they were “standing outside,” HISTEMI, “stand, stand firm, place firmly, establish, set, or confirm,” EXO, “out, outside, or without.” Therefore, in this metaphor, with their self-righteous arrogance, they have established themselves outside of the plan and will of God regarding their salvation, by not entering the narrow door of Jesus Christ.
Having firmly established themselves outside of God’s Plan for salvation, when they realize the consequences of their rejection of the Messiah, they “knock at the door,” KROUO THURA, trying to gain entrance into the family household, i.e., the Kingdom of God / heaven.
Not only will they knock at the door, but they call out too, “saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’” This uses KURIOS for Lord, which may indicate they now believe that Jesus is Lord, but at this time it is too late. “Open to us,” ANOIGO HEMEIS, where ANOIGO is in the Aorist, Active, Imperative of Request or Entreaty. They are pleading with the Lord to open the gate of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Unfortunately, as we have seen and noted throughout this gospel, there are no second chances. Once someone leaves planet earth, their fate is sealed as either being a believer who gains entrance into the Kingdom of God or an unbeliever who does not.
For the unbeliever, Jesus’ reply will be, “Then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from’.”
The reply, OUK OIDA HUMEIS POTHEN EIMI, was a traditional one towards a stranger who may have been knocking on a door in the middle of the night. It indicates the rejection of them by not allowing them entrance into the household. This phrase is also used in vs. 27. Elsewhere, we have a more direct reply, “I do not know you,” Mat 7:21-23; 25:12.
Mat 25:12, “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you’.”
This indicates there was no family relationship between the head of the household, (i.e., God), and the one knocking at the door, (i.e., the unbeliever). Because of having no relationship, due to the unbeliever’s rejection of Jesus as their Savior, they will be barred from entrance to the Kingdom of God. The Lord will tell them He never had a relationship with them, even though they thought they had one with Him.
Unlike the exclusion above of not entering through the narrow door, the exclusion here is that they came too late. This speaks of wasted opportunity here on earth, and the fact that “there are no unbelievers in hell.” In other words, they only truly came to recognize Jesus as Savior after they left planet earth. At that time, it is too late.
“Many people put off the invitation of Christ to enter the Kingdom through Him. The old adage, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” is a true statement. The door is closed to the individual when physical death occurs. At the end of time, the door to the Kingdom will be forever closed by God.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
Luke 13:26, “Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’.”
“Then you will begin to say,” speaks of the defense some will make to try to justify their entrance into the Kingdom. When it is too late, these people will be pleading with Jesus, coming up with all kinds of stories and excuses, trying to justify themselves.
“Eating and drinking in your presence,” speak of a relationship these unbelievers thought they had with the Lord. “And you taught in our streets,” means they even listened to Jesus teach in their town or village. Interestingly, “streets” is the Adjective PLATEIA that means, “a street or wide road,” which is the feminine form of the related Adjective PLATUS used in Mat 7:13, for the “wide gate and broad way that leads to destruction.”
Therefore, the “teaching, DIDASKO, in our streets,” indicates the “broad way” of false doctrines that people believe will give them entrance into the Kingdom of God. They either were listening to false doctrines and believing them, or they did not truly receive the truth of God’s Word when it was taught to them. Either way, they stayed in their self-righteous unbelief.
Therefore, in the crowd were some people who listened to Jesus and had eaten meals with Him. Because of this, they felt their association with Him was assurance of friendship and therefore He would grant them salvation. They failed to recognize that their salvation depended upon their becoming new creatures in Christ based on having faith in Jesus as their Savior. They failed to realize there had to be an inward change of attitude towards the Christ.
It is no different today, as some people feel that going to church services and hearing the words of Jesus will, in and of itself, make them acceptable to Him. Such is not the case. The individual must be born again.
Luke 13:27, “And He will say, “I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers’.”
Regardless of their pleas, Jesus will deny them entrance into the Kingdom, because they truly did not have a relationship with Him, as He stated in vs. 25. This is another doubling of a statement, which points to the importance and significance of the statement.
Next, we see the judgment pronounced on these unbelievers, “depart from Me,” which is the Aorist, Active, Imperative for Command, of the Verb APHISTEMI¸ ἀφίστημι that can mean, “cause to revolt, mislead, lead away, withdraw from, abstain from, depart, desert, or fall away.” This word emphasizes the unbelievers’ rebellion against the true knowledge of Jesus Christ that rightly leads Him to command them to depart from His presences, i.e., the Kingdom of God.
This is in comparison and contrast to HISTEMI used in vs. 25, for “standing outside.” Because they took a stand outside the home of Jesus, they must depart from His presence.
Jesus then identifies them for who they truly are, “all you evildoers,” PAS ERGATES, “workman, laborer, or doer,” ADIKIA, “injustice, unjust, wrong, wrongdoing, or wickedness.” The notion of unrighteousness, injustice, and wickedness are the primary meanings. Therefore, we see that the works that these unbelievers performed are not good enough for entrance into the Kingdom, and are in fact considered to be evil. Cf. Psa 6:8a; Mat 7:23; 25:41.
Psa 6:8a, “Depart from me, all you who do iniquity.” The Hebrew word for “iniquity,” is AWEN, אָוֶן that means, “sin, iniquity, evil, wickedness, or idolatry.”
Mat 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’.”
Matthew, writing to a predominantly Jewish audience, where Luke was writing to a predominantly Gentile audience, uses “practice lawlessness,” ERGAZOMAI, “work, be active, do accomplish, carry out, or perform,” with ANOMIA, “lawlessness, sin, or without the law.” It means, things counter to the Law of God, which represents sin.
Therefore, “workers of iniquity” explain why Christ will not save these people. They have never turned from their wicked ways. Jesus knows the heart and the motivation of each life. Only the person who has openly confessed Jesus as Lord and repented of his sins will be recognized as being washed in the Blood that takes away sin.
In addition, we are warned to steer clear of these types, especially those who are teaching false doctrines to others, 2 Cor 11:13; Phil 3:2.
2 Cor 11:13, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.”
Phil 3:2, “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.”
Yet, we are to be workers of righteousness, especially those who are teaching others, which can only occur after we have believed that Jesus is our Savior, 2 Tim 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
Luke 13:28, “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 yourselves being thrown out.”
In the first half of this verse, ““In that place,” we have the location as to where these unbelievers will depart to, which ultimately will be the Eternal Lake of Fire / Hell.
“In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” uses the Adverb EKEI, “there or in that place,” that represents the Lake of Fire, along with the Future, Middle Deponent, Indicative of the Verb EIMI for “will be,” to indicate the future torment they will endure that is noted in two metaphors, “weeping,” the Noun KLAUTHMOS, “weeping, lamen-tation, crying, bitter weeping, or wailing,” and “gnashing of teeth,” that uses the Nouns BRUGMOS, “grinding, gnashing, grating (of teeth),” with the Plural of HO ODOUS, “of the teeth.”
This type of weeping, KLAUTHMOS, denotes the complete absence of happiness and the absolute presence of despair. This despair, along with the rage of being condemned forever in a place of torment, produces a literal and continual gnashing of the teeth.
We noted this phrase when studying Luke 12:46, where the wicked slave, unbeliever, is “assigned a place with the unbelievers,” which is the Lake of Fire, cf. Mat 24:51. There, we noted that this phrase is also associated with the “outer darkness,” that is an analogy for the Lake of Fire, Mat 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; also known as the “furnace of fire,” Mat 13:42, 50. In each reference, the unbeliever will be experiencing “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” which represents great sorrow along with great anger and bitterness. It speaks to the torment and remorse of the wicked in the future life, along with their continued obstinacy towards accepting Jesus as Savior and God’s plan for salvation. And remember, there are no second chance!
Therefore, “weeping and gnashing of teeth” are signs which express great anguish and rage. To be shut out of a place where you have been openly invited to attend, is an awful thing. “Outside the door of the house where patriarchs and prophets feast, shall the excluded weep and gnash their teeth, all the more because they think they have a right, as belonging to the chosen race, to be within.” (Expositor’s Greek Testament).
Jesus then gives an identifier, as a well as a comparison, “when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God.” This specifically points to the Jewish person’s rejection compared to their forefather’s acceptance, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are the bloodline for the people of Israel, and the prophets speak to the writers of the Scriptures and the true prophets of God that were many times persecuted by the religious order, Luke 11:47; Acts 7:52; Rom 11:3; 1 Thes 2:15.
Luke 11:47, “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them.”
Acts 7:52, “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.”
Rom 11:3, “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” Cf. Elijah’s statement in 1 Kings 19:10, 14.
1 Thes 2:15, “Who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men.”
The Jews of Jesus’ day boasted about their ancestry, being descended from Abraham. They prided themselves that the prophets were their ancestors. Yet, they did not walk in the ways of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or the prophets any more than they did in the way Jesus was teaching them. With this backdrop, we also see that this torment is made even worse by the ability to see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophets enjoying the bliss of paradise.
Because of their rejection of Jesus Christ, Jesus said, “But yourselves being thrown out,” which uses DE, the contrasting Conjunction “but.” “Yourselves being thrown,” uses the Present, Middle, Participle of the Verb EKBALLO, “throw out, drive out, or send out,” with the Adverb EXO that once again means, “out, outside, without, etc.” This doubly emphasizes the judgment of Jesus Christ upon them, as well as, the place to which they are thrown, “outside,” (i.e., the outer darkness). Because they stood outside of the narrow door and did not enter through faith, vs. 25, they will be thrown outside of the Kingdom of God into the outer darkness, the Lake of Fire.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#20-078 & 20-079
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!