Friday, May 21, 2010


Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.
Matthew 7:13-14 (Amp)

[I was going to put a picture here. I looked at tons of cutesy little pictures of "narrow" gates. Then it hit me that the pathway to this gate would be rugged and unattractive. Not something that would make a good picture on a blog. The wide gate, yeah, it would be glorious looking, super nice, a clean, beautiful image. It would be like a picture from Better Homes and Garden magazine. But the narrow gate, it would be one of those pictures with the thumb in front of the camera lens, and the sun shining in that very awkward way that would make anything look bad. The scenery would be gross with tons of trash and broken glass (but not like one of those artsy pictures of the garbage people in Peru, it would just be nasty looking). The gate would be broken and make an awful noise when someone tries to open it. So anyways, I was going to put a picture here, but reality is ugly.]

So the Word says, that we are to enter through the narrow gate, but only few are entering through it. The path of the wide gate is spacious and broad, and many are entering through it. I like the way Amplified describes the narrow gate, "contracted by pressure." Although this isn't the context of what this means, it seems to me that not only the physical definition of narrow would be "contracted by pressure," but the mental definition would be also. We are "contracted by pressure" to follow the ways of this world, the broad, spacious ways of this world. We are pressured to fit in, we are pressured to get a degree and get a high-paying job, we are pressured to do better than our parents, we are pressured to make more money, we are pressured to marry the "right" person and raise polite kids, we are pressured to follow the rules, we are pressured to live the "American dream." All that pressure makes it a lot tighter and harder to get to the narrow gate.
[But it's so worth it.]
Regardless, if we love Jesus, it shouldn't be that hard to enter the narrow gate, right?

I've been looking at some commentary for this passage and one said something about how the narrow way represents "grace" and the wide way represents "works." That doesn't seem so bad, I mean, who wouldn't choose grace. But it makes me wonder, because it also says "few are those who find it (the narrow way)." If few are actually finding the narrow way, do others think they are, but in actuality are entering through the wide gate? The next thing Jesus says is about false prophets and how not all who say "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven. So does that mean people are saying "Lord, Lord," but really walking along the wide path? I'm not a Bible master, so I don't honestly know.

But I do know this:

Jesus says that we'll do even greater things than Him (John 14:12).

James tells us, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." (NIV).

In 1 John, John makes the bold statement that "Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did" (NIV).

I don't know about you, but no matter what it takes, I'm entering through the narrow path. My prayer right now is surrender and yearning to abide fully in Yahweh.
I want to walk in the supernatural steps of Jesus and count it ALL as loss to the sake of knowing Him.


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