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The Safety-in-Numbers Myth

Today’s reading: Luke 13:10-15:32

My selection: Luke 13:23-24

23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”

My reflections: Apparently a burning question among those who heard Jesus teach was “Will those who are saved be few?” We might ask it this way,”how many will be saved?” or “who will be saved?” Jesus confirmed that many would seek to enter and not be able. He was warning not to go with popular trends and opinions or you will be left out in the cold. His subsequent teachings as recorded by Luke elaborate on the subject.

The narrow door would exclude those who trusted in their own good deeds or connections with Israel. Signficantly, it did not exclude repentant sinners who return to the Father for mercy (15:11ff).

In the gospel, things are generally turned upside down from popular opinion. Some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.

My challenge: In our society, we are increasingly enamored with public opinion polls. When the majority agrees with us, we assume our view is correct, especially when the majority is overwhelming but even if the majority is only barely 51%. There is a false sense of confidence in being in the majority on a given issue. Jesus warned against it. Do not be duped just because “everyone” agrees on an issue. Many will not enter in to salvation in the last day.

There is no safety in numbers. We will stand before God alone. I want to be like the prodigal son, in the sense of recognizing my sin and unworthiness before the Father, not the older brother who knew nothing of the grace and mercy of God. Enter through the narrow door. Don’t miss it by trusting in popular opinion.

Tomorrow’s reading: Luke 16:1-18:17

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