Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV Strong’s Bible)
” 13 “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.”
The verses are part of the broader sermon that was given by Jesus at the mount. It is famously known as the “sermon at the mount” and starts in Chapter 5. Jesus after giving what is called the golden rule which is to do unto others that you would like them to do unto you, He now gives a message which in my view goes to the heart of Christianity. The free will that God has given us to choose or not to choose him. Jesus says that there are two gates. The narrow gate, which has a hard way and the wide gate, which has an easy way. Jesus says that many will find the wide gate and very few will find the narrow one.
Jesus starts verse 13 by giving a command to us to enter by the narrow gate. Jesus says we must enter by the gate that is uncomfortable, full of discomfort and pain. It is clearly not easy to get through this gate and verse 14, says very few will find it, let alone enter through it. Because the gate is narrow, it gives a sense that one cannot enter this gate carrying anything on himself. The gate is wide enough for only you, without carrying anything else to go through.
There are three things here, firstly you need to find this gate as in verse 14 and, secondly, you need to enter it. In Luke 12:24, Jesus gives a command to put every effort to enter this gate. Jesus says many will seek to enter this gate but will be unable to. Thirdly, you need to live everything behind as the gate is just enough to let only you in. Jesus says in Matt 18:8 that it is better to enter life without both hands and feet than to be thrown in the fire with them. This means you cannot enter this narrow gate fattened by your own self righteousness because you wil not pass through. This means you cannot allow anything to fatten you so that you cannot enter this gate. You cannot enter this gate carrying the world baggage as you will not pass through. The gate is only wide enough to allow only you. Just as you came into this world, so will you be able to enter through this gate.
It is not only about finding this gate, only about entering this gate and it is not only about the narrowness of this gate but, once you have managed to enter this gate, now you need to walk a hard path. This word hard is translated from a greek word “thlibo” which means to suffer, to go through tribulations, troubles, persecutions or hostility from opposing forces. The word also means narrow. So, not only is the gate narrow and difficult to enter but the path that one needs to walk through after entering the gate, is equally narrow and difficult to walk. This path contains sufferings, tribulations and persecutions. This path is equally narrow. Jesus said in Matt 10:38 and 16:24-26 that if we are to follow him, we must deny ourselves and pick up the cross. He said whoever wants to safe his life will loose it but, whoever looses his life for his sake will find it. In John 15:18 and John 16:1-3 Jesus did indicate that the world will hate us because it hated Him first and we will be persecuted for our faith. Paul and Barnabas did preach that we must enter the kingdom of God through many tribulations. Clearly then, this path that we are to walk in, is and will not be easy but will be full of tribulations. Since this path itself, is also narrow, it will be an uncomfortable and painful walk through.
So, firstly you need to find this gate, secondly you need to enter this gate, thirdly you need to let go of everything and lastly you need to endure or persevere as you walk the path that follows the entering of the gate. Now, if this narrow gate only leads to a narrow path, if this gate that is full of discomfort and pain only leads to a path that is equally full of discomfort and pain, why does Jesus command us to enter by this gate, this is because, this is the only gate that leads to life. Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the way the truth and the life and in Acts 4:12, it is written that Jesus is the only name given under heaven by which anyone can be saved. It therefore means that this narrow gate is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the path is indeed that path that we as Christians that have put our trust in Jesus has to walk through. This narrow path represents or shows two things, the persecution and tribulations that follows a true Christian and the fruits that indicates true repentance if one is able to endure.
This message ties in with my other message called “Following and Supporting a False Teacher, is a sign of your own pending destruction in Hell“, which showed that if you find yourself sitting in a church, following and supporting a church whose pastors promises you success, deliverance, breakthroughs, health, promotions, marriage, winning court cases, etc, and it is these very promises that attracted you to this church or this pastor, then this might be the sign to you that you are on your way to destruction in hell fire as that pastor you are following, might be a strong delusion sent by God so that you may beleive what is false and be condemned because, you have rejected the true word of God and ran after short lived earthly pleasures. Those that follow or support these pastors because of these promises, have clearly not chosen to enter the narrow gate and walk the narrow path. Jesus commands us to enter by this narrow gate and to walk the narrow path. Are you willing to obey Him?