Luke 13:18-35

So, what is the kingdom of God like?

  • The kingdom starts tiny, but grows and protects those who are in it (mustard seed).
  • The kingdom infiltrates and influences (yeast).
  • The kingdom has very specific requirements (narrow door).
  • Some who think they are in the kingdom will miss it because they miss Jesus (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be there, but others won’t be).
  • The kingdom includes both Jews and Gentiles (east, west, north, south, wild birds)!

Jesus concludes his talk about the kingdom with the reminder: “some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” He has once again challenged the Jewish people and their leadership in this passage. They all think that they are in the kingdom, but many Gentiles will make it in while they are excluded!

And that may explain the next few verses. Some think that the Pharisees are overstating the case here, and that Herod, at least at this time, isn’t that antagonistic to Jesus. They may be simply trying to scare Him into leaving! He tells them that He will continue His work, that He has to go to Jerusalem, and that it is there that He will meet His end. In His comments on Jerusalem Jesus isn’t saying that prophets only died there and not anywhere else, but is lamenting that the very place synonymous for the worship of God was more dangerous for a true prophet that Herod was in Galilee!

Jesus also shows us His heart here. Jerusalem and it’s leadership, as a whole, was going to reject Him. It causes Him distress. All He wants is for them to believe, to follow, to enter the kingdom! But they refuse. As a result they will be judged, probably referring both to spiritual and physical judgment (since the temple and city were destroyed in 70 AD). However one day they will say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” Most believe that this looks past the triumphal entry, and instead looks to the time of the second coming or perhaps even the final judgment.

So, the big question here is, are you a part of the kingdom? And if you are, what kind of influencer are you trying to be?

One thought on “Devotional Reading for April 12, 2022

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