“Lord, are there few that be saved?” It’s true that the Jews believed they would be saved because they’re God’s chosen people and only them would be. This would probably give someone pause and would want to know it what the Jews believe is true. This may be the situation that prompted the question since he didn’t ask a personal question like “What must I do to inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:16)?”
I believe that Jesus turned and faced him. He’s a personal savior and connects with all who seek him. The verse says that he directed his response to “them” which would mean everyone in hearing distance. The first word he speaks is “Strive” which means a diligent search. With all of the tugs and thoughts on people’s lives then and even now, “strive” would instantly make one understand that this is more than just a casual endeavor.
Work at it. Find out what is true and what isn’t. There are some who believe that just saying they believe in God is enough. Presto! Fast track to heaven. Not so. Jesus makes it clear when he says “Strive”. Make it The Mission in life to find out what it takes to be saved. Don’t leave it to others’ ideas or opinions. Life in eternity depends on it.
Verse 25 puts a time stamp on how much time is available. “When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door…” it’s too late. To those who bang on the door to get in and plead like the rich man did in Luke 16:19-31, it’s too late. No one knows when their time comes to an end, only God does. “Strive” is the warning. Eternal life with Christ depends on it.