After Jesus mentioned how God would reward the generous in the resurrection of the righteous, one of the guests at the dinner said,
Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God. (15)
This man was referring to the great banquet that will be held someday when the Messiah comes into his kingdom. And as he said this, I’m sure every man at that table said, “Amen,” fully expecting to be at that table when God’s kingdom came.
The ironic thing? They were having dinner with the Messiah right at that very moment and didn’t recognize him. More than that, they rejected him as Messiah and eventually had him crucified.
As a result, they would be locked out of the kingdom, while all those they looked down upon, the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind, the very people they locked out of their own feasts, would be allowed into the kingdom. More than that, those sinners they despised and the Gentiles they thought unworthy of the kingdom would all find a place in the kingdom, while they would be left out.
So many people want to go to heaven, but like these Pharisees, want no part of Jesus. Instead they rely on their own concept of righteousness to get them into heaven, while looking down on all those that fail to meet that standard. And like these Pharisees, when their time comes, they will find the gates of heaven closed to them, while those they despised will enter.
How about you? Are you trying to get into heaven, even expecting to go to heaven, when all the while, you’re rejecting the one who is the only way into heaven? Only those who put their faith in Jesus and his work on the cross will enter. So put aside your pride and come to Jesus. For as he himself said,
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)