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The Way of the Kingdom

22 Jesus ministered from village to village,[a] making his way to Jerusalem and teaching the people as he went. 23 A bystander asked him, “Lord, will only a few have eternal life?”

Jesus said to the crowd, 24 “There is a great cost[b] for anyone to enter through the narrow doorway into God’s kingdom. I tell you, many will want to enter but won’t be able to. 25 Once the head of the house has shut and locked the door, it will be too late. Even if you stand outside knocking, begging to enter, and saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us,’ he will say to you, ‘I don’t know who you are. You are not a part of my family.’

26 “Then you will reply, ‘But Lord, we dined with you and walked with you as you taught us.’ 27 And he will reply, ‘Don’t you understand? I don’t know who you are, for you are not a part of my family. I will not let you in. Now, go away from me! For you are all disloyal to me and do evil.’[c]

28 “You will experience great weeping and great anguish when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, along with all the prophets of Israel, enjoying God’s kingdom while you yourselves are barred from entering. 29 You will see people streaming from the four corners of the earth, accepting the invitation to feast in God’s kingdom realm, while you are outside looking in. 30 And take note of this: Some are despised and viewed as the least important now, but one day the master will place them at the head of the line. And some whom you view as ‘elite’ today will become the least important then.”

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  1. 13:22 Jesus now visits the places where his disciples had already been. See Luke 10:1–11.
  2. 13:24 The Greek word used here is actually “agonize.”
  3. 13:27 This is quoted from Ps. 6:8. Though they were acquaintances, they had not responded to his message with repentance. The word disloyal is taken from the Aramaic. The question to ask is not simply, “Will the saved be few?” (v. 23) but rather, “Will it be you?”