“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.Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
In the collection of Jesus teachings that we label as ‘The Sermon on the Mount‘, is a tiny nugget that is fairly well known, at least at some level, and from which we get the expression ‘the straight and narrow’. This expression usually refers to living a life that is morally upright and above reproach. But I believe these two simple verses from Jesus have more to say to us than encouragement to live a good life.
Jesus paints a picture of a fork in the road, each fork passing through a gate. One fork is broad and easy to see and follow. This fork promises easy travel and a comfortable journey. Its gate has a wide opening and is enticing. This is the fork that most people choose to take.
The second fork is easy to miss. It has a narrow gate that will not allow the person entering to carry much baggage. Unlike the broad gate, this one offer little promise of an easy trip. In fact, the road stretching out beyond this gate looks to be one that will be full of hardship. Although, truth be told, few actually even notice this gate, much less look into it to see where its road might lead.
Which Road Will You Choose
The vast majority choose to follow the road through the broad gate and, for a time at least, experience a pleasant journey. But that journey invariably leads to destruction and loss. The road that started off with so much promise ultimately ends in disaster.
The few who choose the road through the narrow gate face a quite different experience. While the road may be challenging at times, they discover that they never face those times alone. And at the end of the journey they find real life, and great reward.
So which will you choose? To walk the easy and well traveled road that ends up with destruction; the road that may lead to happiness and success in this life, but, in the end, leads to eternal separation from God? Or will you choose the road less traveled, walking with Jesus away from the allure of this world and toward the life that we were created to experience?