23 "Lord," someone asked Him, "are there few being saved?" He said to them, 24 "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won't be able 25 once the homeowner gets up and shuts the door. Then you will stand outside and knock on the door, saying, 'Lord, open up for us!' He will answer you, 'I don't know you or where you're from.' 26 Then you will say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets!' 27 But He will say, 'I tell you, I don't know you or where you're from. Get away from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness!' (Luke 13:23-27 HCSB)
Now Jesus is clearly using a metaphor here and thus must be understood metaphorically. The metaphor is making every effort to enter through the narrow door. The narrow door is salvation. "Making every effort to enter" is how we are saved. In effect he is saying let your salvation be the grand business of your whole life. Entering the narrow door involves repentance. That is was verses 3 and 5 say in this same chapter. "No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!" (Luke 13:3,5) This also involves faith. This is stated earlier in Luke as well. "The seeds along the path are those who have heard. Then the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved." (Luke 8:12 HCSB). It is because they were not entering by the narrow door (repentance from sin and faith in Jesus) while the Lord gave them opportunity (in this case, while Jesus was present, preaching the gospel).
Unbelievers may say that they knew Jesus socially (we ate and drank) or they knew his public ministry (You taught in our streets), but they don't know the Lord, they haven't embraced him as Savior. This can be seen in Jesus response to them, "I don't know you or where you're from". Because they had not been justified (declared righteous) through faith in Christ (Romans 5:1), they were ultimately workers of unrighteousness. Listening to Jesus' teachings and sharing social fellowship with his people is not going to save anyone. You can go to Church and hang out with Christians all you want but it won't save you. Salvation only comes through personal trust in Christ.
Jesus says we must "enter through the narrow door" because "many will try to enter and won't be able." There will eventually be a time when the opportunity to trust in Christ will be taken away. Christ is now offered to you as Saviour and Redeemer. However, a day is coming when he will sit on his throne and be Judge. So here we find the answer to the question in verse 23. Are there many going to be saved? Jesus doesn't answer directly, but says that many would try to enter after it was too late. As you read this post, it is not too late... "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." (Hebrews 3:15 HCSB) " In an acceptable time, I heard you, and in the day of salvation, I helped you. Look, now is the acceptable time; look, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2 HCSB) Repent of sin and turn to Christ, and he will forgive you. Enter the narrow gate!!