“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.”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
In the remaining thirteen verses of chapter seven, Jesus brings the Sermon on the Mount to a close. He presents a series of sayings that present two choices for man. The first of these sayings has to do with a wide and small gate and a broad and narrow road. Jesus encourages His listeners to choose the small gate and narrow road that lead to life. He then notes that “only a few find it.” The other choice has to do with the wide gate and broad road that leads to destruction. Here, He notes that “many enter through it.”
Here, Jesus is talking about entrance into the kingdom of heaven. It is abundantly clear that the way into the kingdom is through the small gate and narrow road. In his commentary of Matthew, R.T. France points out, “Entering the kingdom of heaven is not found by following the crowd, but by a deliberate and costly decision.” Jesus made it abundantly clear in John 14:6 when He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Some would consider this statement very narrow-minded. After all, this is an exclusive statement that leaves no room for other options. In this text, the article in the Greek is an adjective. Jesus said, “I am THE way.” He is not just a person who shows the way, but He, personally, is the WAY!
No church, ceremony, or religious act can bring you to God. (This is the wide gate and broad road.) Only Christ can bring you to God. (This is the small gate and narrow road.) This is a dogmatic statement. In our culture, it is common to hear, “There are many different paths to God.” This is the broad road that leads to destruction. The broad road appeals to our flesh because it usually involves us doing something to earn “right standing” with God.
According to Jesus, there are two roads that we can travel in this life. One road leads to eternal life, involves faith and obedience, and only a few find it. The other road leads to death. Many choose to reject Jesus and follow the popular way. The majority is not always right. The fact that “everybody is doing it” is no proof that what they are doing is right.
The narrow road is hard, lonely, and costly. The reality is that we cannot walk on two roads going in two different directions at the same time. We either believe Jesus’ exclusive claim in John 14:6 or we don’t. It is that simple. The charge here is to find yourself in the relatively small crowd of those who are faithful, who seek what is good, and who truly know Jesus and follow His teachings.
Questions to Ponder:
Do you believe Jesus’ exclusive claim in John 14:6? On which road are you traveling? What is it costing you to follow Jesus on the narrow road? Why is following the crowd not necessarily a good thing? What does this passage teach us about God’s plan of redemption for mankind?
- Worship the Lord as the one and only God.
- Praise Him for being the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
- Invite the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal any sin to you. Confess what He brings to your mind. Receive His forgiveness. Forgive others who have wounded you.
- Rest in His unfailing love, mercy, grace, and loving-kindness. Let Him minister with His healing love over and in you as you “float in the sea of grace” for a few minutes.
- Ask Abba to grant mercy, grace, and forgiveness in and through all His people today, especially within our Beloved Church Family, Oak Pointe. Ask the Lord to strengthen each person with the power of His Spirit and to walk today on the narrow road, where there is true freedom.
Holy Father, Righteous Father, I worship You for being King of kings and Lord of lords. I declare You are the one and only most High God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and in Your name alone there is salvation.
Have mercy on me, Father, for I am a sinner. I have sinned against You and others. Forgive me for gossip, slander, rushing to evil rather than rushing away from it. I confess I am self-centered, greedy; I covet and have been jealous. I repent from anger, judging other people’s heart and motives, listening to the enemy’s lies, and allowing a narrative to form in my head and heart instead of tearing down those thoughts because they are not of You nor from You.
I know, Abba, You want me to be in the world but not of it. Forgive me for being in the world and for being of it by the way I respond to everyday situations and by the way I fill Your temple, my body, with more earthly things then I do of Your kingdom things. Have mercy on me, oh God, for I fall short every time on the inside, where no one can see, and on the outside.
I confess being impatient and unloving in my heart toward “my enemies” rather than praying for them as You have commanded in Your Word. Father, I turn from mocking and grumbling about where our nation is at and falling into the trap of putting my hope in the things of this world, rather than fixing my eyes on You. Shepherd my heart, oh God, into Your love, into Your ways, into Your truth. Shepherd my heart and mind to think on things that are good, pleasant, and praiseworthy. Create in me a clean and pure heart, oh God, I pray. Let me be found interceding for the leaders in our nation, region, church, family, etc.
Help me to yield to You, Spirit of God, when You remind me of truth throughout the day. I am so weak, Lord, and prone to wander. Will You help me today? Grant me strength, empowerment, joy, and love today to reflect and honor You in every area of my life. I pray this for our Oak Pointe Church leaders and church family too. In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask these things. Amen.