Striving To Enter (by Jonathan Lipnick And Dr. Eli Lizorkin-eyzenberg)

Holy Strive LizorkinJesus’ teaching about the “narrow gate” is a familiar passage for many Christians.  His message is that entering the kingdom of heaven is not easy. Unlike the comfort of “walking on the broad road”, “entering the narrow gate” requires discipline, strength and bravery. In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus says simply “enter through the narrow gate” (Mt. 7:13). But in the Gospel of Luke there is much more urgency: “strive to enter through the narrow door” (Lk. 13:24). To read the original and to make a comment, click HERE.

The English word “strive” is not nearly as interesting as the original Greek word, which Luke uses: ἀγωνίζομαι (agōnizomai). This is a verb built on the root ἀγών (agōn), which means an athletic competition, such as a running race or a wrestling match.

He chooses this word because he wishes to convey the sense of pain and struggle which is required of those who chose to follow Christ. Paul, who authored his letters before Luke did his Luke-Acts, also used this athletic imagery of running the race and fighting the fight (1 Cor. 9:24-27; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7). Luke and Paul use this athletic term because they wish to show that the suffering endured by Christians today will be followed by triumph reserved for them in the future.

To read about Koine Judeo-Greek click HERE.

About the author

Dr. Eli Lizorkin-EyzenbergTo secure your spot in our new course “The Jewish Background of New Testament” - CLICK HERE NOW

You might also be interested in:

Purim: The Masquerade And Beyond

By Julia Blum

Three Plus Four: Rachel

By Julia Blum

Join the conversation (38 comments)

Leave a Reply

  1. Mary Anne

    Hi Dr. Eli, yes, I believe we’re on the same page. We lost our original access to the Divine as fallen creatures. That access was restored when Jesus bequeathed the Holy Spirit to us upon his death / resurrection. I agree, the ongoing inspiration of the Holy Spirit comes to us through the Word and thus we can’t rely on our human “feelings” to be our compass. Ironically, though, we would not know of the existence of the precious Word if not for the Holy Spirit’s prompting in the first place. I am continually amazed at how we all are brought to the Word. It’s a wonderful mystery indeed as each believer can come to the Word through various ‘theologies’, as you point out. Shalom!