Luke 13:22-35

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

September 5, 2001


:22-30 Entering the Kingdom

:22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.

:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,

fewoligos – little, small, few; of number: multitude, quantity, or size

savedsozo – to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to save in the technical biblical sense. Present passive participle – continuous present action

:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

strive agonizomai – to enter a contest: contend in the gymnastic games; to contend with adversaries, fight; metaph. to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers; to endeavour with strenuous zeal, strive: to obtain something

Though we don’t get into heaven because we have worked hard, we need to work hard to make sure we get into heaven.  Going to heaven isn’t something that we ought to take a half-hearted approach to.  It isn’t something that we ought to put off for “another day”.

strait stenos – narrow, strait

gatepule – a gate; metaph. the access or entrance into any state

will seek zeteo – to seek in order to find; to seek a thing; to seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after

We usually look at this word in a good light.  We quote the verse, “Seek and ye shall find”, we tell people to “seek the Lord while He may be found”.

But it isn’t enough to be a “seeker”.  God is looking for “strivers”.  Not those who are trying to earn their way to heaven, but those who are going to work hard at being sure to go in through the right gate.

Some churches have adopted the phrase “seeker sensitive”.  Perhaps we ought to start a new trend and become a “striver sensitive” church.

be ableischuo – to be strong; to have power; to exert, wield power, to have strength to overcome; to be a force, avail; to be able, can


Not everyone goes to heaven.

There may be fewer people in heaven than you think.

There is a tendency among people to have the notion that just about everyone and their dog will make it to heaven.
There is the idea that “all roads lead to heaven”.  That’s a bit broad.
Earlier in His ministry, Jesus taught,

(Mat 7:13-14 KJV)  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: {14} Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

There is only One Way into heaven, and it’s through Jesus.
Jesus said,

(John 14:6 KJV)  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

He also said,

(John 10:7-10 KJV)  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. {8} All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. {9} I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. {10} The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

One of the challenges tonight is not to come away with some self-confident attitude or having pity on those poor people who aren’t blessed enough to go to such a wonderful church as ours.  The point is to take a good look at your own status.  Are you going to heaven?
Paul wrote,

(2 Cor 13:5 KJV)  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

I don’t believe we ought to be going through our whole lives wondering about our salvation.  But I also don’t want us to be assured falsely that we’re okay.

:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

the master of the houseoikodespotes (“house” + “master”) – master of the house, householder

shutapokleio – to shut up

doorthura – a door; used of any opening like a door, an entrance, way or passage into; the door of the kingdom of heaven (likened to a palace) denotes the conditions which must be complied with in order to be received into the kingdom of God

knockkrouo – to knock: at the door

knoweido – to see; to perceive with the eyes; to know; to know of anything; to know, i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive; to see with the mind’s eye, signifies a clear and purely mental perception

whencepothen – of place: from where, from what condition; of origin or source: from what author or giver; of cause: how is that?, how can that be?


You don’t want to be too late.

The point here is that there will be a time when the “door to heaven” will be shut.
Jesus told the parable,
(Mat 25:1-13 KJV)  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. {2} And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. {3} They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: {4} But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. {5} While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. {6} And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. {7} Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. {8} And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. {9} But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. {10} And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. {11} Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. {12} But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. {13} Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Oil in the Bible is universally a picture of the Holy Spirit.  It seems that in this picture, some people had the Holy Spirit, and some did not.  Instead of being ready for the bridegroom with their lamps filled with oil, they put off the importance of being ready.  They tried to rely on the oil that others had, but this wouldn’t be good enough.  They needed their own.  In a sense, this is like people who will even come to church, but will never take that one step of really asking Jesus to be a part of their lives.

:26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.

thy presenceenopion – in the presence of, before; of occupied place: in that place which is before, or over against, opposite, any one and towards which another turns his eyes

These are the people that Jesus has been ministering to as He’s traveled throughout Israel. They will have this idea that because they were around when Jesus lived, that they will have some kind of special privileges.


Just hanging around isn’t enough

Going to McDonald’s doesn’t make you a hamburger.  Going to Krispy Kreme doesn’t make you a donut.  Going to Edison Field doesn’t make you a professional baseball player.  Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian.
I would imagine that there are people who think that because they go to church, eat and drink the Communion elements, and listen to the teaching of the Word, that they are Christians. Ain’t so.
The Bible says,
(John 1:12 KJV)  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Jesus said,
(Rev 3:20 KJV)  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
There must be a time where a person actually chooses to follow Jesus.  They must cross the line of being a spectator and jump onto the playing field.  They must choose to open their heart to Jesus, to allow Jesus access to their life, to choose to follow Jesus.

:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

I knoweido – to see; to perceive with the eyes; to know; to know of anything; to know, i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive; to see with the mind’s eye, signifies a clear and purely mental perception

whencepothen – of place: from where, from what condition; of origin or source: from what author or giver; of cause: how is that?, how can that be?

departaphistemi – to make stand off, cause to withdraw, to remove; to stand off, to stand aloof; to go away, to depart from anyone; to desert, withdraw from one

workersergates – a workman, a labourer; usually one who works for hire esp. an agricultural worker; one who does, a worker, perpetrator

iniquityadikia – injustice, of a judge; unrighteousness of heart and life; a deed violating law and justice, act of unrighteousness

It’s possible that the Master of the House is quoting from –

(Psa 6:8 KJV) Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.

(Psa 119:115 KJV) Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.


Real Christians

Jesus rejects these people.  Even though they can claim to have hung around him, eating, drinking, and being taught, He replies that He doesn’t know them.
The only significant clue Jesus gives us as to the reason He doesn’t know these people is that they are called “workers of iniquity”.
These are people who are “doing” the “wrong thing”.
A couple of weeks ago, Dave Ritner was teaching about “truth”.  He made a statement that it’s not just hearing the truth the counts, but learning to do it.
Jesus said,
(Mat 7:21-27 KJV)  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. {22} Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? {23} And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. {24} Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: {25} And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. {26} And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: {27} And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

It is apparently not enough to just call Jesus “Lord”.  Instead you have to do the will of the Father.

It is not enough to do “godly” things like prophesy, cast out demons, or do wonderful works.  What is important is learning to do what God wants you to do.

The two house builders both “heard” the sayings of Jesus, but only one acted upon them.


The other day on the History Channel there was a show about great storms.  They followed hurricane Hugo that hit Charleston, S.C., back in the late eighties.  130 mph winds, rain, and a rising storm surge tide that flooded ten miles inland from the ocean.  The disaster was huge.  It was frightening to watch the footage of the storm at work. Some houses made it, many did not.

We sometimes give the impression that if a person simply “says” a little prayer, then all their eternal worries are over.  In a sense this is true, it really starts by a person putting their trust in Jesus.  But the way you can tell whether or not it was something real is by whether or not real things begin to happen in their person’s life.  If a person’s life doesn’t begin to move away from sin and toward Jesus, there ought to be some doubt whether or not it was real.

:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

weepingklauthmos – weeping, lamentation

gnashingbrugmos – a gnashing of teeth; used to denote extreme anguish and utter despair of men consigned to eternal punishment in hell; snarling, growling: in the sense of biting

thrustekballo – to cast out, drive out, to send out

It would be a horrible thing for these people to be able to see people like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their beloved ancestors, go into the kingdom while they are being kicked out.

:29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

they shall comeheko – to have come, have arrived, be present. Future indicative tense, this is something that will definitely happen in the future, not just a suggestion.

shall sit down anaklino – to lean against, lean upon; to lay down; to make or bid to recline

This is a term generally used to describe people reclining at a table to eat.

(Luke 13:29 NASB) "And they will come from east and west, and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.
(Luke 13:29 NIV) People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.

The point is that these Jewish people who lived in Jesus’ day would not make it into the kingdom, but people from all around the world, presumably Gentiles, would.


There may be more than you think

Some people make the way to heaven too broad.  They will be surprised to find that there are less people than they were expecting.
Some people make the way to heaven too narrow. They have the idea that only their select group, their little sect, will enter into heaven.
Jesus is saying to the Jews that while some of them will not be going to heaven, there will be others whom they would not expect going to heaven.
There’s a story about the man who died and went to heaven.  After arriving, St. Peter took the new arrival on a tour.  He showed him all the various wonders, the tree of life, the river of living water, all the places where the saints liked to hang out.  When they came to a high wall, Peter lowered his voice a little to hushed tones.  The man could hear noise on the other side.  “What’s that wall for?” the man asked Peter.  “Oh that” replied Peter, “That’s the wall around the Calvary Chapel people, they think they’re the only ones up here.”
People do get saved in other churches.  People do follow the same Jesus as we do and can go to a Methodist church, a Baptist church, or a Presbyterian church.
While we need to be careful that we don’t make the way to heaven to be too “broad”, we also need to keep in mind that there will be people from all sorts of places, all sorts of churches, that will be in heaven.
When you find out that a friend at work is a Christian, it’s common to ask them, “What church do you go to?”  When they reply that they go to something other than a Calvary Chapel, don’t be quick to change the subject and certainly don’t criticize the other church.  We’re all on the same team.  We may do things differently, and we may prefer to do things the way we do them, but we’re all on the same team.

:30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

lasteschatos – extreme; last in time or in place; last in a series of places; last in a temporal succession; the last; of rank, grade of worth, last i.e. lowest

firstprotos – first in time or place; in any succession of things or persons; first in rank; influence, honour

:31-35 Warning about Herod, Jerusalem

:31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

Get thee outexerchomai – to go or come forth of

willthelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure

“Herod has a desire to kill You”

It might be that these are Pharisees who are trying to scare Jesus out of town.  It’s also possible that these could be friendly Pharisees (some like Nicodemus were friendly) who are concerned for Jesus.

:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

foxalopex – a fox; metaph. a sly or crafty man

cast outekballo – to cast out, drive out, to send out

devilsdaimonion – the divine power, deity, divinity; a spirit, a being inferior to God, superior to men; evil spirits or the messengers and ministers of the devil

curesiasis – a healing, cure

I doepiteleo – to bring to an end, accomplish, perfect, execute, complete

I shall be perfectedteleioo – to make perfect, complete; to carry through completely, to accomplish, finish, bring to an end; to complete (perfect); add what is yet wanting in order to render a thing full; to be found perfect; to bring to the end (goal) proposed

(Luke 13:32 NIV) He replied, "Go tell that fox, 'I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.'

The point is this: Herod won’t be able to kill Jesus before His time is up.

:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

it cannot beendechetai – to receive, admit, approve, allow; it can be allowed, is possible, may be

perishapollumi – to destroy; to kill; to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed

It sounds to me that Jesus is three days from coming to Jerusalem. 

:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

killestapokteino – to kill in any way whatever; to destroy, to allow to perish; metaph. to extinguish, abolish; to inflict mortal death

stonestlithoboleo (“stone” + “throw”) – to kill by stoning, to stone; to pelt one with stones

how often posakis – how often

The implication is that this is not the first time that Jesus has been to Jerusalem.

would I thelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure

gatheredepisunago – to gather together besides, to bring together to others already assembled

as tropos – a manner, way, fashion; as, even as, like as

a hen ornis – a bird; a cock, a hen.  All the translations give you the picture of a mother chicken, but the word simply speaks of a bird, any kind of bird.

broodnossia – a nest of birds; a brood of birds

wingspterux – a wing: of birds

would not thelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure


God’s amazing love

If you were Jesus, and you knew that Jerusalem would be the place where you would be arrested, beaten, and killed, what would you have to say about the city?
How about what David prayed,

(Psa 58:6 KJV)  Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.

Yet Jesus’ response is one of love and tenderness.
You may feel that because of your history of being hostile towards God that God must be pretty angry towards you.  Not so.  God loves you.

:35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

desolate eremos – solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited; a desert, wilderness

As a result of rejecting Jesus, Jerusalem would be going through some pretty tough times as they rejected God’s protection.

seeeido – to see; to perceive with the eyes; to know

blessed eulogeo – to praise, celebrate with praises; to invoke blessings; to consecrate a thing with solemn prayers; to ask God’s blessing on a thing; pray God to bless it to one’s use; pronounce a consecratory blessing on

This is a quote from

(Psa 118:26 KJV)  Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

until the time

What time is this?

I think there are probably two fulfillments spoken of here.
In a few days Jerusalem will be seeing Jesus, and the crowds will actually be saying this.  It will be a day known as “Palm Sunday”.

 (Mat 21:9 KJV)  And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

I think there may also be a fulfillment when Jesus returns the second time and saves the Jews and Jerusalem from the terror of the antichrist.


Trust in His love

Back in verse 34, Jesus gives us a hint of His love toward us.  He says His love is of the same manner as a mother bird and her young.
The Fire
An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God’s wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had singed her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.
The Psalmist writes,
(Psa 17:8 KJV)  Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
(Psa 91:4 KJV)  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
You can trust His love.  Let Him cover you.  Let Him gather you to His heart.