There's a scene in the movie Lawrence of Arabia in which a reporter tries to get quotes from passersby about T.E. Lawrence. One man says, "He was a great man..." The reporter asks, "Did you know Major Lawrence?" The man replies, "I shook his hand once." He admired Lawrence and he shook his hand, but, he admitted, he never actually knew him.
There's a big difference between shaking hands and sharing hearts.
Jesus described a scene where the same sort of interaction will happen. He was passing through from one city to another, teaching and preaching as He went, headed toward Jerusalem. Headed toward the cross.
His journey was deadly serious because His destination was deadly serious.
Someone in the crowd asked a serious question. "Are there just a few who are being saved?"
Jesus, on His way to make the ultimate sacrifice in an effort to save everyone, gave a cryptic answer.
"Strive to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able."
He described a terrible scene. The head of the house will close the door (metaphorically speaking of God the Father) and many people will knock on the door, desperate to get inside. "Open up," they will demand. The head of the house will say, "I do not know you."
The desperate people will justify themselves by saying, "We ate and drank in Your presence."
Being in the same restaurant where someone ate and drank, even being at the same table where they ate and drank, is not the same as knowing them, being friends with them, being family.
"You taught in our streets," they will insist.
Being in the same town as the teacher is not the same as being a disciple of the teacher.
Just yesterday, I attended the I-22 signage ceremony. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves was there. Senator Roger Wicker was there. They both "taught in our streets." I spoke directly to neither man. I personally know neither man. The fact of our proximity while they spoke in no way indicates a personal relationship between us.
In that same way, attending a church where Jesus is proclaimed does not indicate a personal relationship with Him. Attending a Bible study and learning about what Jesus taught does not indicate a personal relationship with Him. The only thing that qualifies as a personal relationship is... a personal relationship.
The only thing that qualifies us as disciples is that we follow the Master.
One day, time will end. The door of heaven will close and there will be some, Jesus said, who thought proximity would be an adequate substitute for relationship, for discipleship. It will not.
The time to follow is now. The only One to follow is Jesus.
"Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able... And they will come from east and west, and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last." Luke 13:24, 29-30 nasb
In case you missed any of the past week's posts, here are the links: Removing the Callus, Refillable Nespresso capsules, The New Normal, The Blessing Disguised as Coincidence, The Blessing of Protection, and Becoming a Writer: Cover Reveal.
The most read post of the past week: Removing the Callus.
Here's the link to The Clay Papers, available as an e-book for personal use or to send as a gift for only 99 cents.
photo courtesy of freeimages.com
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