Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it. [Matthew 7:13-14 AMP]
These verses are often interpreted to infer that Jesus is speaking to his listeners about the narrow gate to heaven. He could be saying that, but I think that the context of his statements indicate that he is speaking more about finding the way to real, and everlasting, life. Many often miss the fact that the eternal life that He speaks of begins on earth and many times it begins long before we die.
This passage tell us that the way to real life is narrow and hard. The context of it tells us why it is narrow and hard. The context informs us that the narrow way is a way of:
- humility: the beatitudes show us the narrow way of a humble person that makes peace, shows mercy and is sometimes persecuted;
- character: Jesus tells us that the narrow way is all about having an internal life that is not murderous, envious or lustful;
- persistence: asking, seeking and knocking reveal a type of prayer that keeps walking that narrow way when prayers are not answered and the going is rough;
- love: caring about others and doing to them in ways that we want things done to us reveals the reality of the narrow way of love that Jesus walked to the cross.
Lord, please transform those parts of me that are not humble and loving.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.