We’ve all read them before. You know, those Scripture verses that kind of stop us in our tracks and make us think hard about the consequences of what Jesus is saying. I’ll list some of those declarative statements that Jesus actually said, that readily come to mind:
Luke 9:62 NASB “But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 14:33 NASB “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”
Luke 12:51 NASB “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division;”
Luke 13:24 ESV “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”
Luke 14:26 NASB “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”
Matthew 7:21-23 ESV “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Matthew 5:19-20 ESV “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:3 ESV “And said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 7:13-14 ESV “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Matthew 24:9-14 NASB “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
As in all of Scripture, context is always critically important, so that we may rightly discern the correct meaning of the quoted verse(s).
Sometimes Jesus is talking to the 12 designated disciples, sometimes He is speaking in generalities to all who would put their faith and trust in Him. Nevertheless, these verses and others that are not listed here, do give us much reason to earnestly consider the consequences of our decisions and the necessity to not only do all that we are commanded to do but also teach all of that which we are commanded to teach.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!