Jesus is asked a nice, straightforward question, and in the grand tradition of all teachers who refuse to give simple answers, Jesus responds, “Well, yes and no.”
Jesus affirms that only a few will enter God’s reign (verse 24). And just a few lines later (verse 29), he states that many will be at that banquet.
If we are looking for easy answers, Jesus is going to be a huge disappointment.
But there is method here, because instead of giving an easy answer, Jesus changes the question.
Jesus is saying, “Stop worrying about who’s in and who’s out. Stop counting numbers and making calculations. Stop drawing lines around the good and the bad, the worthy and the unworthy.”
Instead, we are invited to look around the wide world and see God’s grace being extended to people we would not have expected, people who are different, people with whom we seem to share nothing in common, “people?from east and west, from north and south.” (verse 29) No limits; no walls; no boundaries.
God’s reign is always bigger than our own experience of it. God’s welcome is always cast wider than our individual lives. God’s embrace extends to all the outcasts, all the outsiders, all the rejects.
It’s not easy. But it is good news.
Thank you for welcoming all and for including us in the "all." Amen. — RAP