Friday

'Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven.' (v. 21)

Matthew 7:21-23 Friday 1 March 2019

Psalm: Psalm 87

Background

Today's passage is also in Luke and is directed at the crowd. In Matthew it is directed at the false prophets and hypocrites who Jesus has been warning the original listeners about in verses previous (Matthew 7:13-14 and 15-20). It relates to wide gate and narrow gates in the sense that following Jesus is hard. The road isn’t easy. There will be challenges and struggles.

Jesus was talking to people at a time when there was a lot of wrongdoing and he had to come and share the truth. Jesus also had to go down and retrain the trainers so that everyone would have the correct skills needed to enter the kingdom.

These last few passages from Matthew that we have explored this week have been intense and difficult to grip with and now we have another that could possibly be the hardest. Essentially today’s passage informs the original listeners that some people who call themselves good Christians will be rejected by Jesus when the day of judgement comes. Jesus will be God’s consultant and, as such, will be ready to judge the living and the dead. And for those who confess themselves to be good followers of Christ, if indeed they are, Jesus will say that he never knew them. This is a difficult passage to read and digest.

The hope that can be found in this passage is verse 21: “only he who does the will of my Father”. This refers to our actions, our doing, living a life that Jesus wold be proud of. Those who do not work off of their own agenda but the agenda of God and God’s mission. Doing this all for the good of the kingdom.

Jesus warns us and the original listeners against false prophets and hypocrites for the sake of the kingdom. It is the kingdom that we seek and the kingdom we pray and fight for.

 

To Ponder:

Previous Page Thursday
Next Page Saturday