In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is asked a question.

Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them.

Luke 13:23 (NIV)

We don’t know the circumstances surrounding this question or the identity of the person who asked it. All that we know is what we are told in the previous verse. Jesus was going through the towns and villages teaching while headed to Jerusalem. We can surmise, however, that this person was a Jew. Therefore, we can further deduce that this person was referring to the fact that the Jews were God’s chosen people. Thus, we could modify the question by inserting the word “Jews” into it. Like, “Lord, are only a few Jews going to be saved?”

With this context in mind, we can move on to Jesus’ response.

24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

Luke 13:24-27 (NIV)

A lot is going on in these three verses. Notice that Jesus doesn’t answer the question with a “Yes” or “No.” Instead, the Lord paints a picture reflecting the state of humanity. In verse 24, we see that everyone wants to get into heaven. Whether they are Jewish or not. This desire is evident by the pleas in verses 25 and 26, “Sir, open the door for us” and “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.”

Considering the context surrounding this question and Jesus’ response, we can surmise that Jesus had in mind some of the people he had been teaching while on the way to Jerusalem. Hence, the pleas to the owner of the house (the Lord). In addition, the narrow door was a familiar sight, particularly amongst those who tended sheep. The following three verses reveal that Jesus’ response isn’t just about Jews; as I’ve said, it covers all humanity.

28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Luke 13:28-30 (NIV)

Verse 28 covers the Jews who think they will get into heaven because they are God’s chosen people. In contrast, verse 29 informs us that there will be people from every nation getting into heaven. Verse 30 refers to the Israelites, God’s chosen people, who will reject the Messiah, but the gentiles will accept him. Thus, the gentiles will enter God’s Kingdom before the Israelites.

The best way I can sum up the Lord’s response is this. To get into heaven and spend eternity with the Lord, you must have a personal relationship with him.

Everyone, as I’ve said, what’s to get into heaven, but not everyone is willing to make an effort to do so. Some say, “There are many ways to God,” but there are not. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. There will be many people on Judgment Day who think they have a right to spend eternity with the Lord because they were a “good person” and did this thing or that thing “right.” They followed this or that religion, but Christ wasn’t in those things. Some “hung out” around Christians; they joined them in prayer and maybe even went to church, but they never knew Christ for themselves.

If you don’t know the Lord, then know this: Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation for you is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.