(Matthew 13:31-33; Mark 4:30-32)
18-19 See Mark 4:30-32 and comment.
20-21 See Matthew 13:33 and comment.
22-23 Although many people believed that Jesus was a prophet and a miracle worker, not many believed that He was the Savior, the Messiah. Most people did not repent and believe in Him. Someone, having noticed that only a few people followed Him, asked, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”31
24 Jesus didn’t answer the question directly. Instead He said, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many … will try to enter and will not be able to. Don’t ask how many are going to be saved. Ask only if you yourself are going to be saved. Before you worry about others, make sure that you yourself have entered through the narrow door to heaven” (see Matthew 7:13-14 and comment).
25 Jesus’ meaning is this: To get to heaven we must all go through the “narrow door.” It is not easy to go through. We must make every effort to go through. And we must not delay. Once the door is shut, it will be too late to enter. We must go through the door while it is still open. Because the time will come when Jesus will return and shut the door. Then we will have lost our chance (see Matthew 25:6-13 and comment).
Until Jesus comes again, there is still opportunity for all men to enter the narrow door. It is open to all who repent and believe. … knock and the door shall be opened to you (Matthew 7:7). Only do not delay. Make every effort to enter while there is still time.
When Jesus comes again in power and glory, many will at that time try to get through the door. They will realize that He is indeed the Savior, the Son of God. But it will be too late. He will answer: “I don’t know you.”
26-27 People at that time will say to Jesus, “We ate and drank with you. We went to church. We heard your word. We called out to you, ‘Lord, Lord’” (see Matthew 7:21-23 and comment). At that time the Jews of Jesus’ time will also say: “We are Jews just like you. We are Abraham’s descendants. We are God’s chosen people. Surely we have a place in the kingdom of heaven.” But Jesus will say to all of them, “You did not truly believe in me. I don’t know you.”
28-30 Then Jesus said to the Jews who were standing around listening, “You will weep on that day. Because you did not believe, people from the east and west and north and south—that is, the Gentiles—will be given your place in the kingdom of God (see Matthew 8:11-12 and comment). You thought you were first; but in the end you will be last. You thought you were saved; but in the end you will be lost” (see Mark 10:31 and comment).
31 While Jesus was still in Galilee, some Pharisees warned Him to leave the district, because King Herod, the ruler of Galilee, wanted to kill Him.
32 But Jesus despised Herod. Herod had murdered John the Baptist. He had power and he was crafty, like a fox. But he had no power to stop Jesus. Jesus had His work to do before He died. “Today and tomorrow—that is, in the time remaining—I will work, and on the third day I will reach my goal.” Jesus’ goal was to die and to be resurrected. It was through His death that His goal of saving men from their sins would be completed (see Mark 10:45 and comment).
33 No threat stopped Jesus from doing God’s will. He knew He must be killed, but it would not be in Galilee by Herod. Prophets were killed in Jerusalem. It was only the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem that could condemn prophets to death. And Jerusalem was not under Herod’s jurisdiction.
34-35 See Matthew 23:37-39 and comment.