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Women World Leaders' Podcast

Apr 26, 2023

The door into God’s Kingdom is narrow – you must choose to walk through it if you want to celebrate with God for eternity. Will you intentionally step through the door and leave the world behind? Listen to Jesus’ teaching in today’s scripture to gain the strength to follow His voice. (Luke 13:22-30)


Welcome to Walking in the Word, the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders podcast. I’m your host, Julie Jenkins, and it is my honor to walk with you as we open scripture each week and ask God to show us what He wants us to know.

Women World Leaders was started with a vision to reach out to the world with the love and message of Jesus Christ. It is our goal to share God’s love with you and empower you to walk in your God-given purpose. We do that by offering Bible teaching, fellowship with other Christians, and by providing avenues for leadership growth.

If you are new to the ministry, we would love you to join us from wherever you are! We offer several monthly zooms that are educational, informative, and fun – and they are open to women from around the world. Through Women World Leaders, I have friendships with women from all over whom I have come to know, love, pray for, and depend on as sisters. Two of our regular meetings are on the third Monday of each month when we join together for our Leadership Connect, which includes fellowship and teaching, and the 4th Monday of each month, when we join together for prayer. But we also offer monthly seminars on zoom, of course our Voice of Truth magazine, and opportunities to grow and serve in your gifting. To get started, visit our website and fill out the contact form to get on our email list. That way, you can stay informed about all that is happening in the ministry and jump in as the Holy Spirit leads you.

On this, the Wednesday edition of our podcast, we are continuing to walk through the gospels together chronologically. Today’s scripture comes from the book of Luke, chapter 13, verses 22-30. Before we begin, let’s pray.

Dear Most Holy God – thank you for sharing your Word with us so that we might know you better. We come to you in awe of who you are and how you have sustained your written Word for so many years just so we can open it today. Father, we open the Bible with confidence today, knowing that you will meet us and guide us as we read. Help us each walk away from out time together knowing exactly what you want us to and having a better understanding of who you are and what you call us to today. We give you this time and trust your presence. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


When we left Jesus last week, we were in the book of John, at the end of chapter 10. Jesus had been teaching and clearly shared that He and the Father were One. This resulted in the authorities attempting to seize Him, but Jesus escaped their grasp and went across the Jordan to stay and rest in the place where John the Baptist had baptized many. In that time and place, scripture tells us, many more came to a life-saving belief in Jesus as the Messiah.

We can imagine that this was a mountain-top experience for Jesus. Though many had come against Him, God graciously provided Jesus both rest and a shot of adrenaline as He allowed Him to see the difference He was making in so many lives.

If you have ever stood up for Jesus – whether it be by praying before your meal at a restaurant or ministering to an individual – you know that standing for Jesus includes both highs and lows. Ministry, in any form, is hard work. You’d better believe that the devil does not want us to stand for Jesus, and when we do, he will come against us, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. But when you serve on God’s behalf, you can also know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you are making a difference in the world. That what you are doing matters. And you can trust that God WILL provide you with rest and encouragement at just the right time—IF you stay connected to Him in prayer and are obedient to His calling. As a leader, God does not want you to burn out. You do not have to be the end-all-be-all for those you have been called to serve. That is God’s job. Even Jesus left when the crowds came against Him. And when He did, God gave Him the rest and provision He needed to step out again—exactly where He was called.  

As we join back up with Jesus today, let’s begin with Luke 13:22 from the New Living Translation…

22 Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”

This was no doubt one of MANY questions Jesus received along the way. The Jewish people believed that all Israelites would be saved, except those who did egregious acts such as denying the Law or speaking the name YHWH. They believed THEIR salvation was a given simply because of who they were as God’s chosen people. And yet, they were also taught, “Many have been created, but only a few shall be saved.” So this person was likely asking for clarification. Would only a few be saved? Jesus doesn’t answer directly. Because although Jesus DOES care about the masses, His gaze on the masses is always intently focused on each individual. God sees EACH of us. He loves, attends to, and cherishes YOU as an individual. And He felt the same way about this person asking the question. So the more important question that Jesus wanted this person to answer was, Will YOU be saved? From Jesus’ answer flows a fountain of information that centers around one specific point — EACH person must intentionally give themselves to Jesus in order to be saved.

In Verse 24, John records Jesus’ response…

24 “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. 

The word translated as “work hard” means to strive, to intentionally make every effort to enter God’s kingdom.

Receiving the gift of salvation from Jesus is not like standing in a spring shower.

I live on the coast in Florida, where it can be a beautifully sunny day when I walk out the door, and within 10 minutes, I can be drenched by a sudden and unexpected shower. I actually walk quite often and we have taken to leaving towels by the front door for just such an occasion. When the rain comes, you get wet, and there isn’t anything you can do about it.

But that isn’t how salvation works.

God IS ALWAYS raining down His love and His offer of salvation, but no matter WHO you are, WHAT church you go to, or WHO your parents are – to receive God’s salvation – to secure your place in His kingdom – YOU have to intentionally walk INTO His blessings.

Jesus, in this parable, describes the entry into God’s Kingdom as a narrow door. Nobody steps through a narrow door without meaning to. And it is impossible to go through any door without leaving a different place behind.

Have you ever hit a crossroads? Have you ever had to walk through a figurative door, knowing you are entering a new location or phase but are also leaving something behind? This happens so often in our lives. As a graduate, you leave behind being a student and step into a world full of new possibilities. When you walk down the aisle to be married, you are leaving behind single life and entering into a life of communion with your spouse. And when you have a child, you gain a new title – mom or dad – and your world will never be the same.

The same is true when we enter into a relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When we say yes to walking through that narrow door, we must leave behind our old selves. No longer are we tied to the world and solely responsible for ourselves. Instead, we choose to humbly submit to God’s direction, we ask Him to forgive our sins, and we step across that threshold of salvation into His Kingdom. And suddenly, we are never alone again. Suddenly, we have God fighting for us at every turn. Suddenly, we have an army of believers who hold us up in difficult times and rejoice with us in good times.

But this miracle, though a free gift, doesn’t just happen. We must each CHOOSE to look for the door and then walk through it. But there is a catch…and this is the hard part for us to understand…that door to the kingdom won’t remain open forever.

Jesus continues…

25 When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’

I can’t imagine how this information struck the Jewish listeners…they always ASSUMED that as God’s chosen people, they would be with God forever. Was it true that they could be left behind?

Then Jesus continues to paint the picture for those who did not choose the narrow path to the kingdom before it was too late…

28 “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out. 

The Jews listening must have recoiled at this. Their own forefathers, the very people they looked up to and longed to follow, would be there, in God’s Kingdom. Yet, it was now likely beginning to sink in. They were starting to understand that those who do not choose to follow JESUS will be left out of the celebration. And, they will be doing the opposite of celebrating – they will be weeping and gnashing their teeth. Weeping and gnashing their teeth was a way of describing being in extreme anguish, torment, and even experiencing extreme anger. This is understandable, because those who did not follow and submit to Jesus, before the door closed, will be judged and, ultimately, rejected by the God of love – who had offered them EVERYTHING.

And, speaking to the Jews, Jesus makes it even more clear that salvation is not based on heredity. And as He does, Jesus reveals what is a glorious revelation for those who are not Jewish – EVERYONE has the opportunity to intentionally follow Jesus and walk through that narrow door, leaving the world behind and entering God’s kingdom… Verse 29…

29 And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdom of God. 30 And note this: Some who seem least important now will be the greatest then, and some who are the greatest now will be least important then.[a]

WE are each given the gift to enter the kingdom of God through the narrow door by submitting to the doorkeeper Himself, Jesus Christ. But to walk through that door, we must intentionally leave behind our self-sufficiency and pride. We must walk away from the false sense of security that the world offers. We must deny what we THINK we want and trust that when we follow Jesus, He will give us more than we can truly IMAGINE we need and want. The way is not easy and we cannot do it alone. But we don’t have to do it alone, because Jesus is there, holding out His hand to help you step over the threshold.

Can you hear the voices calling you on the other side? Focus on them. Listen to them. Ask God for the strength to follow Him in obedience.

And let me encourage you to act now. Quickly. We have no idea when that door will close. It will happen unexpectedly – and when it does, the sound will be deafening.

Will you pray with me?

Dear Most Holy God – we know you have so much for us! We hear your call and we want to answer. Today, I vow to follow you, to lean into knowing you, to walk in your way and follow your will for my life. Jesus, I am sorry for the times I have gone my own way. Claim me as your own! I give you my life! I give you my eternity! And I hold out my hand to you – lead me over the threshold into your kingdom today. Thank you for leading me and loving me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.