Many of us make a commitment to follow Jesus without considering what it will take to follow through with it. Since a life of discipleship is costly, we must consider the cost. Today’s passage looks at the requirements and results of a life of discipleship, which is simply a lifelong commitment to learn from and live for Jesus.
All too often, we are quick to honor ourselves and our priorities for this life, which inevitably leads to our dishonoring God and dismissing His priorities. But Jesus teaches us to humble ourselves, so that we can honor God in this life, and be honored by God in the next. This basic teaching underlies all three sections in today’s passage.
The truth is, none of us are more than a few steps away from abandoning our God-given mission due to internal fears or external pressures. Today’s passage reminds us that we can find hope for finishing well in Christ. Jesus never abandoned His God-given mission but finished out His earthly ministry with fearlessness and faithfulness. Jesus knew that His suffering, death, and the postponement of God’s Kingdom was in accordance with God’s will.
The Kingdom of God has a wide table but a narrow door. We can preach the good news of the Kingdom knowing that everyone is invited but not everyone will come. In our passage, the narrow door points to faith in Jesus and the wide table points to God’s amazing grace — accessible to anyone and everyone who believes.
When we have hope in the kingdom of man we will inevitably end up hopeless. When we place our hope in the Kingdom of God, we will remain hopeful because our hope is in the unchanging promises of Jesus our King. In our passage, Jesus uses two parables to teach us that we can be hopeful about His coming Kingdom regardless of our current circumstances.
Even though atheism is declining globally, many people still live without hope in God or love for others. Since Jesus is the source of hope and love, we must point such people to Him. In our passage, Jesus confronts both hopelessness and lovelessness in Israel. As followers of Jesus, we will inevitably have opportunities in our lives to influence both hopeless and loveless people as well.
Our circumstances don’t always reflect our relationship with God, so we must look to Scripture to understand it. In today’s passage, Jesus teaches that good and bad circumstances are not necessarily the result of divine punishment or approval.
As believers our debt is paid in full through the sacrifice and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
God’s judgment is a reality, and so good judgment is a necessity. The First Coming of Jesus demonstrated God’s good judgment, and His Second Coming demands ours.
The Lord rewards faithful service. And faithful service involves two important things: vigilance and diligence.
If we trust in the truth of God, then we will live anxiety-free lives. In today’s passage, we see that we can trust in God’s sovereignty and His sensitivity to our needs.
Because, Jesus teaches us that life is more than possessions, we must view material wealth in light of eternity. In our passage, He points out that life means more than merely getting stuff from others, or keeping stuff for ourselves.
In this passage Jesus warns His followers against hypocrisy promising that those who acknowledge Him before others will be acknowledged before God.
Jesus calls out the religious leaders of His day, and we must be willing to do the same. In our passage, Jesus specifically calls out the Pharisees and the scribes.
Since Jesus is “the Truth”, we must live in light of His Gospel. In other words, we must respond appropriately to the revelation of God in Christ. Our passage is going to demonstrate that spiritually blind people cannot receive such revelation, and, therefore, they will inevitably fail to respond to it.
Because Jesus requires active obedience, we must choose to obey Him. In our passage, Jesus makes it clear that we must reject every kind of disobedience, and then remain obedient, in order to live the life He is calling us to.
Since what we think about God determines how we pray, we need to get to know Him better. In today’s passage, Jesus teaches that God the Father is both relational and reliable.
Today’s passage reminds us that we can lose our focus even as we attempt to serve Jesus. But the most important thing in life must be our relationship with Him. Everything else, even our service to Jesus, is at best secondary. And if we learn to savor Jesus, then we will undoubtedly serve Him well, too.
We can all understand how tempting it is to separate out our professed love for God from our practical love for neighbors. But Jesus calls us to a costly love for neighbor which proves our love for God. In this passage, Jesus shows us that such costly love is: unconditional, unbelievable, and unmistakable.
Jesus rejoices in God’s revelation, and He reminds us to do the same. The first half of our passage speaks to the humility required to receive God’s revelation, and the second half points to the privilege of receiving it.