“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14
In the category “things I wish Jesus had never said”, this verse might be at the top of the list. It is a tough teaching for us 21st century westerners to understand and accept. Jesus tells His listeners of 1st century Jerusalem to enter through this narrow door. Later He clarifies that HE is indeed that narrow door; the gate; the way, the truth, the life.
We act as if we are the only generation to struggle with Jesus’ words. We, however, are not the first ones to ever wrestle with what He means. Even the original hearers would struggle. This teaching is found in what we have labeled as “the sermon on the mount”. It is filled with teachings that seemed out of reach and unattainable in that day as well as today. Of course, it’s also why Jesus followed it up with saying “what is impossible for man, is possible for God”.
I recently heard someone say they asked God why He made it so difficult…making Jesus the Only Way to eternal life. The answer God gave to them was that He didn’t make it difficult. Instead, God simplified it.
In a world or nation, where we have 80+ choices of bread at the grocer and three types of fuel to fill up our multiple choices of transportation…this is profound. What if we have the funnel of faith upside down? We think God has stripped us of all the faith choices and funneled us into one way. But what if God funnels us through the narrow gate to open us up to a myriad of choices? Good choices. Better choices.
In the Old Testament, the people are lead out of bondage in Egypt by the hand of God. The Hebrew word for Egypt is “narrow way”. God lead them through the narrow door and out of bondage. Egypt was where they suffered. Egypt was where they had no choices. Egypt was where they were left to their own demise. But God lead them through the narrow way and they entered into the Promised Land.
We miss this point. We fight God because we think their should be multiple paths. But God wants us to have freedom from our bondage and suffering. And the only way to get there is by entering through the narrow gate. We see Him limiting us from so many options. Yet, God wants us to understand that His options are better and limitless.
Today, do you still need to enter through the narrow gate? Let Him open you up to endless possibilities. Go ahead. Enter in.