The teachings of the Messiah, 9:51-19:44
4. Who enters the kingdom? 13:22-16:13
i] Rejected seekers - the narrow door
THESE NOTES AWAIT COMPLETIONSynopsis
i] Context: See 9:51-56. The six episodes which make up the teaching unit, Who enters the kingdom?, 13:22-16:13, as with the next six episodes, 16:14-18:14, reveal the bad news and good news of the coming kingdom in Christ - the condemnation of the "righteous" under the law and the blessing of the humble (repentant) under grace. The six episodes in the section Who enters the kingdom describe both those who enter and those who remain outside. So, who does get into the kingdom? Not those we expect, for the first shall be last and the last first. It is those who humble themselves in repentance who get in. "Jesus teaches that between this age and the next a principle of reversal is operative. Many now first shall then be last. Those now exalting themselves will be abased. But those humbling themselves in repentance will, like the prodigal, be exalted", Ellis.
What we learn is that there are not many who enter the kingdom, 13:22-30. Religious Judaism will find itself "the last", for Israel is now a forsaken city, 13:31-35. Israel has failed to keep the law, and thus faces eternal loss; someone else will take her place at the heavenly feast, 14:1-24. The same demand for perfection applies also to those who would stand in for Israel; they must be totally dedicated to God, willing to "give up everything." The disciple who under-performs will be dumped like saltless salt, and be warned, we all under-perform, 14:25-35. Thankfully, there is a guaranteed way to be right with God, namely repentance, and let it be known, it is a joy to God when a sinner repents. Repentance prompts God's joyous mercy / grace, 15:1-32. So be warned, "disciples who do not show faithfulness in this life cannot expect to enter the life of the age to come", Ellis, 16:1-13.
ii] Structure: This passage, Rejected seekers - the narrow door, presents as follows: