What Jesus Did! 'Tables Turned' — Luke 13:28-30

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

[Replying further to a question asking whether only a few will be saved, Jesus said,] "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. 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. 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."
— Luke 13:28-30 NLT

Key Thought

Luke repeatedly emphasized a very convicting theme in Jesus' ministry: The religious tables will be turned at judgment! Time after time, Jesus warned pretentiously and hypocritically religious people of their eternal destruction. [1] These people make a big show of their religious dedication. They act like they are pious when they are not. Many of these folks look down on others out of their own self-righteousness while refusing to live with the love and the character of God. Great joy awaits those who are truly God's children when his Kingdom is fully realized. Those who only appear religious will face a fearsome condemnation. Many who don't seem to be of the "right religious stripe" today actually are living with Jesus as their Lord and are reflecting the love and character of God in their daily lives. [2] They will enjoy the bliss of the Father's eternal blessings. Great will be their joy!

[1] For example, Luke 6:41-42, 11:39-40, 12:1, 13:14-15, 16:14-15, 20:46-47.
[2] Romans 2:25-29 addresses an analogous situation for Jews and Gentiles.

Today's Prayer

Father, I want to live as a person of spiritual integrity. I want my life to reflect your love and righteousness. Reveal to me and take from me any hint of hypocrisy, arrogance, and self-righteousness. Make me genuinely holy, not just by grace, but also in my daily interface with others, my thoughts, and all my actions. May my life bring others to you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 19:12-14
  • Luke 5:27-32
  • Matthew 20:16


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Illustration of Luke 13:28-30 NLT — "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."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.