“What Jesus Demands From The World” – Daily Devotional (6/24/10): Demand #23 “Strive To Enter Through The Narrow Door, For Jesus Fulfills The New Covenant”

Matthew 7: 13-14

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

Luke 22:20

This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

“Jesus’ demand for vigilance—“strive to enter through the narrow door”—is owing to the many dangers that threaten our souls. One of the most frequent imperatives on Jesus’ lips is, “Look out!” “Watch!” “Be alert!”  Jesus underscores that the door is narrow that leads to life. Not every claim will fit through the narrow door of the kingdom of God. There are many false christs. In this context Christ means Jewish Messiah—the one who fulfills all God’s promises and brings in the kingdom and sits on the throne of David ruling over all the world. There is only one Christ, and the rest are “false christs.” Jesus is the only Messiah. Therefore, the door is as narrow as faith in Jesus, the only true Messiah and King of kings (pg. 174-175).”

“What gives Jesus’ demand for vigilance and striving its unusual urgency is the warning that the time of his second coming is unknown to any of us. “Stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. . . . Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Matt. 24:42; 25:13)… “One way to describe “striving to enter through the narrow door” is: Fulfill your calling. Be vigilant to do what God has called you to do. You will be happy if Jesus comes and finds you heartily engaged in your earthly calling for his glory… Strive to enter through the narrow door means, fight for perseverance. The zeal of many would-be followers of Jesus grows cold, and they drift away. Jesus said, “Because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:12-13). In other words, one of the factors that makes the door to the kingdom of God narrow is that striving to enter must last to the end (pg. 176-177).”

“By his death and by the sending of the Spirit, Jesus obtains the new-covenant promises for those who trust him. And the heart of that covenant is that our sins are forgiven and the Spirit of God is given to help us do what Jesus demands, namely, strive to enter by the narrow door. In other words, Jesus’ demand that we “strive to enter” does not mean he stands aloof and watches. As Martin Luther wrote in his hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”:

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;

Were not the right Man on our side,

the Man of God’s own choosing:

Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;

Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,

And He must win the battle.

We are not left to ourselves in our striving. The command to strive is the command to experience the powerful striving of God on our behalf in fulfillment of his new-covenant promise to cause us to walk in his statutes.  We will see this all the more clearly and forcefully in the next chapter, which deals with the presence of the kingdom of God and the presence of eternal life and the way to maintain hope and joy and peace as we strive to enter through the narrow door (pg. 179).”

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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