Pearls of the Word

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Strive to enter through the narrow gate

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Endeavour [agonizomai] to enter the narrow gate. For I tell you many will seek to enter and will not be able to" (Luke 13:24).

The verb agonizomai means to struggle with our adversaries, to fight; it has given us the noun, agonia. Luke translates as ‘agony’ (Luke 22:44), which literally means the struggle for victory, and, in the figurative sense, the struggle for our soul.

It is certainly true that we must not only struggle with our adversaries in order to enter into God’s Kingdom, but also with ourselves, for we constitute our own principal adversary. This is linked with the on-going process of agony of our soul, which resists dying to its former life. However, this stage is irreplaceable if we want to realise new life in the Kingdom.

In this verse, Jesus is replying to his disciples’ question, who want to know if many people will be saved. Here, he shows us that the struggle is difficult, and that we have to join together in prayer to help souls to move to a new kingdom and be saved.