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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 13 - Verse 24

Verse 24. Strive. Literally, agonize. The word is taken from the Grecian Games. In their races, and wrestlings, and various athletic exercises, they strove or agonized, or put forth all their powers to gain the victory. Thousands witnessed them. They were long trained for the conflict, and the honour of victory was one of the highest honours among the people. So Jesus says that we should strive to enter in; and he means by it that we should be diligent, be active, be earnest; that we should make it our first and chief business to overcome our sinful propensities, and to endeavour to enter into heaven. This same figure or allusion to the Grecian games is often used in the New Testament, 1 Co 9:24-26; Phi 2:16; Heb 12:1.

 

Strait gate. See Barnes "Mt 7:13,14".

Dr. Thomson (The Land and the Book, vol. i. p. 32) says:

 

 

"I have seen these strait gates and narrow ways, 'with

here and there a traveller.' They are in retired

corners, and must be sought for, and are opened only

to those who knock; and when the sun goes down and the

night comes on, they are shut and locked. It is then

too late."

 

Will seek to enter in. Many in various ways manifest some desire to be saved. They seek it, but do not agonize for it, and hence they are shut out. But a more probable meaning of this passage is that which refers this seeking to a time that shall be too late; to the time when the master has risen up, &c. In this life they neglect religion, and are engaged about other things. At death, or at the judgment, they will seek to enter in; but it will be too late—the door will be shut; and because they did not make religion the chief business of their life, they cannot then enter in.

Shall not be able. This is not designed to affirm anything respecting the inability of the sinner, provided he seeks salvation in a proper time and manner. It means that at the time when many will seek—when the door is shut—they will not be able then to enter in, agreeable to Mt 7:22. In the proper time, when the day of grace was lengthened out, they might have entered in; but there will be a time when it will be too late. The day of mercy will be ended, and death will come, and the doors of heaven barred against them. How important, then, to strive to enter in while we have opportunity, and before it shall be too late!

{u} "Strive" Mt 7:13 {v} "for many, I say unto you" Joh 7:34; 8:21; Ro 9:31

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