“Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
These two verses are a part of the Sermon on the Mount which runs from Matthew 5 through Matthew 7. Jesus is teaching His listeners about the Christian life and has gotten to the part that warns believers of the dangers of minimizing the difficulties that come to us when we follow the Lord. There are 3 specific dangers He mentions in chapter 7. The first is covered in the above verses. They shine a light on our tendency to not take the seriousness of discipleship to heart. Being a Christian is not an easy life. No one ever said it would be except men who call themselves preachers and evangelists of the word, yet spread the notion that life will be problem-free if their listeners will only follow Jesus. Denying that the way is narrow and hard flies in the face of scripture that declares the exact opposite.
The people of the world sprint down the wide road blaming a God they don’t even know for all their problems, while attempting to do anything and everything that tickles their fancy. They are oblivious to their sin. They smirk at “religious” folks who seemingly aren’t having any fun in life while they continue to race ahead. Solomon says in Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Those on that road feel no need to slow down or reconsider their actions. Their incredible ignorance is their downfall.
The narrow gate is one that leads us down an equally narrow road that has bumps, potholes and sharp turns. They are tests of our faith as we learn to live as Christ’s ambassadors. It may not be particularly easy, but think of how difficult life would be without Christ.
Tomorrow will look at Christ’s 2nd warning in vv. 15-23. Friday morning we’ll check out His 3rd warning found in vv. 24-27. Until Christ returns, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Translation: Contemporary English Bible
Resources: The Reformation Study Bible & The Asbury Bible Commentary.