Where Do You Come From?

To those pleading to enter through the closed door of Christ’s eternal kingdom the Lord answers:  “I do not know where you come from.” (Luke 12:25).  When they give what they think constitutes eligibility to enter, the Lord repeats:  “I tell you, I do not know where you come from.” (v. 27).  Certainly this gives us pause to ask ourselves, “Where do I come from?”

From Scripture we learn that we come from Adam, and in Adam all die.  We learn that we are conceived and born sinners, having come forth and descended from sinners.  We learn that we come forth spiritually dead, unable in our flesh to please God at all.  We learn that when we try to approach God we come from the domain of the ruler of this world, and thus we stand as God’s enemies.  Based on where we come from, it looks like we will never be able to enter through the narrow door.

Of course Jesus knows each of these “sources” of our evil existence.  Why then does He state, “I do not know where you come from.”?  Perhaps we can compare it to presenting a passport in order to enter a given country. An official looks carefully at it to see where the owner of the passport came from and whether the passport information is correct.  If it is a fake passport, or if it is a passport identifying citizenship in an enemy state, the official could say something like, “With this passport we do not recognize where you are from, you may not enter.”  Recognizing where a person is from is key to allowing entrance into an earthly nation.  It is even more important in allowing entrance into the heavenly realms.  Indeed our “passport” must prove where we are from, that our citizenship is in heaven.

The Jews, boasting that they were from Abraham, thought that this gave them valid passports.  Some, according to the parable, boasted that they had rubbed shoulders with Jesus as they ate in His presence and He taught in their streets.  Likewise this did not make them eligible to enter the narrow door.

Jesus—conceived by the Holy Spirit, born sinless, not coming from Satan’s domain—came into this world to give mankind a new passport, a new passport that identifies us as citizens of a sweet and blessed country.  To create such a passport Christ Jesus had to first conquer all the enemy “states” from which we came.  By His death He conquers the “states” of sin and sinfulness.  By His resurrection He shows His victory over the “domains” of Satan and death.  Having freed us from our old “states” Jesus wants to give to all a new passport, giving to each of us a new citizenship.

There is only one valid passport allowing entrance into God’s kingdom where those possessing such a passport may recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets.  That is the passport that has the picture of Jesus, identifying Him as coming from God and going back to Him.  Now, in our Baptism, He gives to each of us this passport.  In Baptism we are born again, we are made a new creation in Christ.  In Baptism we are so thoroughly covered with Christ that when the Father looks at each of us, He sees His beloved Son—the only one who could be pictured on the passport identifying where we are from and where we are headed.  In Christ alone we may enter the narrow door, for in Him we come from heaven, and in Him we return.