Our Efforts, Herod & God’s Efforts

Key Text: Luke 13:22-35.

No matter what the enquirer meant by the word, “Saved”, v23, Jesus replied in terms of entrance into the Kingdom of God. Jesus tells us to, “make every effort”, v24, in our search for eternal life. Why? Entrance into His Kingdom is only for those who love Him and can submit to His authority. What stops people from making every effort? Two things:
Firstly, pride in our own life, 1Peter 5:6, instead of God’s life.
Secondly, procrastination towards godliness, 2Cor. 6:2, instead of submitting now, as in today.

Procrastination is dangerous because no one knows when the master of the house will shut the door, v25. This is like the absence of the virgins, when the groom arrives. Mt. 25:10. Our entrance into His Kingdom rests on two principles. Firstly for God to know us and secondly for Him to know where we are from, v27.

Our efforts should prove to God that in the past, we originated from Him and that because of our sin, we are now needing His redemption to become redeemed sinners. If our lifestyle reflects our own pride, and will not recognize our sin, then we will have a lifestyle that works unrighteousness. We cannot do what is right, if we are continually telling our self two lies. Firstly that we think we are independent of God and don’t need Him, and secondly that we do what is right because of our own wit and strength, when in fact, we are entirely dependent on His goodness, His strength and His word wherein lay His wisdom. People have always erred and wasted their lives before God, because of our own ignorance of God’s word and power, Mt. 22:29. Jesus proclaimed to Jews that foreigners, “from the north, south, east and west” v29 will be in the Kingdom, and they would not. Why? Because they thought that their origin and position with God made them better than any one else. This attitude and lifestyle was disgusting to God, and He promised them bitter weeping and tormenting regret, for the day was coming when they would see their Jewish fathers of the faith in His Kingdom and be cut off from them.

The Pharisees wouldn’t stand for these ideas and told Jesus to leave. They would not admit Jesus was correct and used the excuse of Herod’s anger, instead of their own for telling him to leave. Jesus knew Herod was not angry with Him, but that Herod was merely curious and would lie to get an audience with Jesus. Herod Antipas only killed John the Immersionist because he was trapped in a foolish promise, not out of anger towards the truth of who He was or what He preached. Why Jesus called Herod a fox is to show us that Jesus refuses the trickery of Herod to use the Pharisees in his ploy to get him into Jerusalem. Herod’s only interest in Jesus was to make a show of His miracles, Luke 23:8. Jesus wanted him to know that His miracles were for those who needed them, not for the rich and influential. The final destination of Jesus was Jerusalem, but He wouldn’t come at any one’s request or dare. Only on the timescale of Jesus would God want our ultimate sacrifice to be made. Through His death, He would be glorified, not through any so-called King’s show of a miracle.

All of God’s efforts throughout history in using the prophets, seemed to result in Jerusalem’s rejection, 1Kg. 19:10, 2Ch. 24:20. The very thought of Jerusalem, made Jesus sad. Two facts He teaches us about Jerusalem, firstly, the majority in the city were not willing to accept the love of God, and secondly God’s house in Jerusalem (the Temple) was empty of God’s presence, v34-35. Actually the only way for Jerusalem to see Jesus was when he entered with a crowd heralding his authority, Mk. 11:8-11. Only at that time, would God’s efforts rule supreme from Golgotha near Jerusalem, and He’s been saving people ever since!

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