Reading: Luke 13:23-30
23 Someone asked him, ‘Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?’
He [Jesus] said to them, 24 ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, “Sir, open the door for us.”
‘But he will answer, “I don’t know you or where you come from.”
26 ‘Then you will say, “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.”
27 ‘But he will reply, “I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!”
28 ‘There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.’
Thought for Reflection: This is a warning from Jesus to those same popular thinkers and leaders in the religious world to stop worrying about what other people did or didn’t do, to stop judging whether they were welcomed by God, and to start thinking about their own standing before him.
I listened to an interesting response by Tony Campolo this morning to the oft used phrase ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’. His argued that this was the very opposite of what Jesus taught, which he claimed was ‘love the sinner, hate your sin’. Here Jesus is warning his opponents that they need to switch from the former to the latter.
The good news is that if we don’t feel like a member of the religious supreme, Jesus says that doesn’t exclude us from his people at all – all are welcome! The challenge is as we respond to that welcome, is to extend it ourselves, again to all no matter who they are and what they’ve done.
Prayer: Thank you Lord that we are invited into your house. Help us to welcome others as we have been welcomed ourselves.