Jesus uses a dinner party at a Pharisee's house to once again expose the selfish hypocrisy of the religious leaders. Such selfishness and heartlessness will not fit through the narrow door of the kingdom mentioned in Luke 13:24. Neither will their self-proclaimed honour or status, or a facade of generosity mixed with the expectation of repayment be allowed to enter through that door. Nonetheless, the broad and generous love of God will ensure his house is not empty, but filled for the banquet.
Many had gathered around Jesus after hearing his teaching and seeing his miracles. They were keen to be seen and associated with this man of authority and love. Yet, to follow Jesus is no simple task - it involves bearing a cross, counting the cost, and a willingness to renounce all things, even one's own life. This is the 'saltiness' required of those who would follow Jesus, the King of the Kingdom. Anything less than 'salty' is of no use and is thrown away.
Today, we are called to be of the same flavour and to respond to the same demands. However, unlike the first disciples, we are called to such things with the assurance of the finished work of Christ. We are not called to follow a man condemned to death by crucifixion, but are called to faith in one who has been raised to life and now reigns above all things, at the right hand of the Father. Because of this finished work of Christ, we are called to sonship before discipleship. We are still to bear the foolishness and ignominy of the cross in the world's eyes, but knowing the wisdom, victory and glory of Christ through the eyes of faith. Our discipleship then, is a
Ray is Senior Pastor at Coromandel Baptist Church, South Australia. Before being appointed to this role in January 2012 and during his years of theological study at the Bible College of South Australia, Ray was Student Pastor at the church. Prior to this he was a high school...