False Disciples 7:21-23
Jesus continues the thought in the previous lesson — there are false prophets and false disciples. The same criterion applies; it’s not enough to observe protocol. There has to be a solid connection with the heart and with shalom.
Who will be invited into the Messiah’s presence as a citizen of Heaven? Here Jesus makes it painfully obvious that He is the Messiah who will be ruling with such power. He warns in advance that observing ritual won’t be enough. Once He shows His real power and authority, who would dare be rude enough to openly reject such authority? Don’t come bowing and scraping and hoping to curry favor once it’s obvious. Any fool can do that.
Indeed, it won’t be enough to play political games and hitch a ride on His rising star. People could already see that Jesus did miracles, and the manner in which He did them spoke loudly of authority over Creation as a whole. Again, anyone with ambition can run around campaigning and advertising on His behalf. With all the political ferment among Jews, this was just one more party. So seizing upon the authority of His title as Messiah might have some very real effects on demons and diseases, but that isn’t going to somehow soak down into your life automatically.
Who will be welcomed into His courts for a plum job? The minimum standard is the same one everybody has known for thousands of years: Obey the revelation of God. Jesus says that’s His Father. The Messianic office is bestowed by the Creator, and it is the Father’s Kingdom first. So if you have been a loyal citizen of Heaven from of old, then you’ll be a loyal citizen in the new reign of the Son.
As the Messenger, John the Baptist had warned, now is the time to get right with the existing covenant and you will belong to the new covenant by default. It’s all a continuum. What pleases the Father and wins His favor will work just as well with the Son. He will publicly proclaim as His disciples those who walk by the heart of conviction. Everyone who does not embrace the revelation will be dismissed regardless of attempts to curry favor on the wrong terms.