The Narrow Door

Week 100 | Section 112-113a

Podcast: Coming Soon

Section 112 | From Jerusalem to Perea

John 10:40-42
40 He went away again beyond the Jordan1 into the place where John was baptizing at first, and he stayed there. 41 Many came to him. They said, “John indeed did no sign,2 but everything that John said3 about this man is true.” 42 Many believed in him there.

Section 113a | Question about Salvation and Entering the Kingdom

Luke 13:22-30
22 He went on his way through cities and villages, teaching, and traveling on to Jerusalem. 23 One4 said to him, “Lord, are they few who are saved?”5 He said to them,6 24 “Strive7 to enter in by the narrow door,8 for many, I tell you, will seek to enter in and will not be able.9 25 When once the master of the house has risen up,10 and has shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ then he will answer and tell you, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 He will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.11 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,12 and all the prophets in God’s Kingdom, and yourselves being thrown outside. 29 They13 will come from the east, west, north, and south, and will sit down in God’s Kingdom. 30 Behold, there are some who are last who will be first, and there are some who are first who will be last.”14  

Group Dialog:

  1. Locate the regions on Harmony’s map.
  2. Will you be among the saved? Why?
  3. Does God accept everyone who tries to do his best or everyone who believes that Jesus gave himself for the betterment and salvation of the world?
  4. How is it that some are first and others last?
  5. Will there be a time that its too late to be saved?
  6. How can our “striving” influence the affect and effect of our salvation?

Learning Objectives: salvation, grace, devotion, evangelism.

Study Notes:

  1. The region is officially known as “Perea”. Locate it on the Harmony Bible Map, and on the Rev. AP Stout’s wall map.
  2. John did no miracles, but he faithfully carried out a prophetic ministry and the baptism of thousands.
  3. What John said of Jesus? Read: John 1:14,15; 29-30, 34-36; 3:22-30 see also Acts 19:4,5
  4. Jesus was teaching among mostly Jews (not pagans, polytheists, or agnostics). Certainly the vast majority believed in the One True G_d, they revered the Torah, they were observant Jews and considered themselves to be God’s Chosen People.   
  5. We don’t know the motives in this man’s question. He may have wondered about all the religious leaders who opposed Jesus, or perhaps as he wondered about all those who never met Jesus or heard the Gospel from those who had heard Jesus’ directly. Both motives are pondered by many believers and skeptics alike even today.
  6. Jesus doesn’t answer the man’s question directly. Instead he asks him a more actionable and important question: “Will you be one of those who are saved?”.
  7. Strive comes from a Greek word (ἀγωνίζομαι, agōnizomai, G75) used of athletic contests and of war. CR: 1Co 9:25; Col 1:29, 4:12; 1Ti 6:12; 2Ti 4:7. But since “we are saved by grace through faith” then we should understand that those who are to be saved will also have an intent and intense desire keep in step with the Spirit of God (Eph. 5:16-26) and let the light of Christ shine through them (Mt 5:16; Sec 54c, 54d).
  8. The “narrow door” is the way of Jesus Christ. Given that Jesus was speaking to Jews, it could be inferred that another door would have logically been that of genetics and one’s obedience and observance of the Law. But Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except but by me” (John 14:6).
  9. For we know that Salvation is not of our own doing (effort or striving) – but a gift from God. CR Gal 2:16; Gal 3:10-14; 2 Cor 5:19-21; Rom 8:3; Rom 4:24-5:2; Heb 7:18-19; Phl 3:9; 1Pt 3:18; 2Pt 1:1; Rom 8:30-34; Rom 4:5-6; 1Jn 2:1-2;
  10. This is one of six direct references proving that Jesus understood that he would ascend to heaven (CR: Jn 7:33; 14:2; 14:12; 16:28; Mk 16:19; Jn 20:17 – Fulfilled: Lk 24:51; Acts 1:9) after his death and resurrection (CR: Mt 16:21; 17:9, 22-23; 20:18-19; 26:2; 31-32; Mk 8:31; 9:9,31; 10:33-34; 14:27-28; Lk 9:22; 18:31-33; Jn 3:14; 8:28; 10:17-18; 12:7,:23-24, 32-34).
  11. The Greek word here is ἀδικία adikia (G93) meaning “unrighteousness of heart and life for a deed(s) violating law and justice, or other acts of unrighteousness”.  Yet truth be told, we are all guilty as charged, “sinners” (Rom 3:23; Eccl 7:20; 1Jn 1:8-10; Rom 3:9, 19; Gal 3:22).
  12. These three lived well before the atonement of Christ and therefore never confessed or believed in Jesus as their Savior and they most certainly sinned – yet they will be in heaven. This can only be by the nature of grace and as it is connected to the eternal nature of Jesus as a member of the Trinity.  Significant dates in the lives of each: 1996 BC Birth of Abraham (Gen 11:26); 1921 BC Abraham goes into Canaan (Gen 12:1-5); 1896 BC Birth of Isaac (Gen 21:1-5); 1836 BC Birth of Jacob (Gen 25:21-26); 1821 BC Death of Abraham (Age: 175) (Gen 25:7-10); 1745 BC Birth of Joseph; 1716 BC Death of Isaac (Age: 180) (Gen 35:28-29); 1706 BC Jacob goes down into Egypt (Gen 46:1-7); 1689 BC Death of Jacob (Age: 147) (Gen 47:28). See also this video showing the Nations of the Known World.
  13. Those who will not be Jews but will believe and be saved by the Grace of God.
  14. That some will be first and others last resonates with the Good News that Jesus came to save the WORLD (Jn 3:16) not a select nation (Jews) nor only the “godly” (See Gal 2:16 and all the cross references listed at the end of vs 24 in footnote #9).

By Greg Troxell

Disciple, entrepreneur and catalytic leader. Advocate of the sharing economy. Ministering to youth, new Christians, and equipping the saints. Developing the Emotivational practice. Founder of

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