The Folly of Throwing the Key Away
Most people have mislaid keys at some time or another. Sometimes keys have been accidentally lost overboard from a boat, in a vast field or on public transport. But only foolish people deliberately throw away a key they will need. In these verses, Jesus is telling the religious teachers and theological academics that, instead of treasuring God's truth and opening it up to others, they have personally refused to accept God's way and go through His door of Salvation. Worse than that, they have also thrown away the key to the door so that those they lead cannot get through to God either.
In Matthew’s account, Jesus accuses them of slamming the door to God’s kingdom in people’s faces (Matthew 23:13). They want to enter but their leaders refuse to tell them the gospel. This was a harsh statement to these leading theologians, and they realised that His finger was accusing them. But there was great logic in what the Master was saying.
Nobody can teach beyond their own knowledge, nor introduce people to somebody they do not know. Although the religious leaders were supposed to be footmen who opened God's palace doors, they were totally incompetent because they had no personal relationship with their Maker (John 8:19). Jesus' accusation was full of grief. The doorkeepers of heaven could not get in themselves, and they were preventing others from joining God's family.
The only people who can enable people to meet God are those who already have a relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ. Teachers can explain facts about Jesus, but only those who know Him can introduce others. Those who refuse to submit themselves to His authority, however clever they may be, can never assist rebels to find His love and mercy. Such people have the appearance of godliness but have no experience of the transforming power of Christ – Paul tells Timothy to keep away from such people (2 Timothy 3:5). But for those who know they are saved by the precious blood of Christ, there is a great responsibility to pass on the gospel (which is the salvation-key) to others wherever they live or work or travel. www.crosscheck.org.uk is a helpful way to explain the gospel freely to others - test it out today.
© Dr Paul Adams