MATTHEW 7:13-14: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
OBSERVATION: Is there a difference between being “narrow minded” and having a mind that is directed toward the “narrow way”? Many accuse Christians of being narrow minded. The world views Christianity as a hinderance to progressive thought. While the world, and many religions and denominations are rushing toward the “wide gate” of conventional wisdom and tolerance, the call of the Cross stands as an even greater offense as it ever has.
Christians are not to be narrow minded – but they are called to follow the narrow way. To be narrow minded is to try and put God in a box that we have made. It is to develop a religion of legalistic rules of our own making and to limit or exclude those who don’t measure up to these rules. To follow the narrow way is to have an open and honest heart. It is to fully acknowledge our sin and need for a Savior. It is to see that the only door into the Kingdom is Jesus, and only as we follow Him can we enter into the sheepfold of His children.
When we acknowledge that the narrow door is Christ alone, we must also acknowledge that to follow Jesus is to also follow all that He has said. We cannot pick and choose the teachings that are convenient or that we prefer. Jesus calls us to the cross. He calls us to die to our own desires and to seek first the Kingdom of God. This call to laying down our lives is antithetical to “wide gate” thinking. It is the narrow gate of “death to self” (selfishness) that leads to the wide expanses of God’s green pastures.
In the following verses to this text Jesus warns His disciples against false teachers, false foundations, and false professions. All of these are the “fruits” of the wide way. They are the voices that reject the cross and accuse those who follow Christ as being narrow minded. They are the ones walking blindly through the wide gate not knowing that it will lead to their destruction. Not every one who cries “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus says only those who enter through the narrow way (Himself) and follow the path of life (His Word) will enter into eternal life.
Lord, help me to lay down all of my preconceptions and prejudices at the foot of the Cross. Help me to enter in through the narrow way and to stay on the narrow path of Your Truth that leads to the wide open green pastures of Your life, peace, and love! In Jesus Name.