THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 30
“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. For the gate is narrow, and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
The Words of Jesus, Matthew 7:13-14
Anyone and everyone, who wishes, can read these Words of Jesus. But it is a mistake to think everyone can hear them or do them. “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’” (Mark 4:11-12)
It is of utmost importance that as you read the foregoing verses, you realize they are written specifically to Jesus’ disciples, and if you count yourself among those who are following Jesus, He has said these Words to you.
Remember, His Words are creative, causative, prophetic and instructional. You cannot escape them. You must embrace them.
Everything Jesus says and teaches is built on what He said previously. He is building His Church – you and me – upon a strong foundation so you and I can withstand the storms, the winds and floods and accomplish His Mission. Each and every layer of this foundation is exact, leading to His perfecting of the saints.
What Jesus is saying now seems to depart from what He has been teaching, but have taught the basics, He is now going deeper, directing our steps, warning us of the deceptions we may face.
It would seem that having come this far and having become His disciple, that the rest would be smooth sailing. But dangers lurk at every turn. Jesus warns, we are to ‘enter by the narrow gate’; this is the ‘strait gate’ which is not only pent-up, restrictive and requires singleness of purpose, it is hard to find, and few will find it.
This narrow gate is like the ‘eye of the needle’: Jesus has said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-24)
Please listen carefully. If you are going through life, seeking the easy way to follow Jesus, you may be at the wrong gate.
If you go to church and never come away without a sense of brokenness and a sorrow for your sins, you may be at the wrong gate.
If you are always demanding from God and are rarely giving to God the sacrifice of obedience, then you may be at the wrong gate.
If your life habits and practices mirror the world around you, then you are definitely at the wrong gate. You are at the wide gate, where the way is easy, but it leads to destruction, and you are among the many who are entering by the wrong gate!
It is important to remember that we are living in the Last Days, as described by:
- The Apostle Paul in Hebrews 1:2, Hebrews 9:26,
- The Apostle Peter in Acts 2:14-17, 1 Peter 1:20, 1 Peter 4:7, 2 Peter 3:3.
- The Apostle Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1,
The Apostle Paul warned that God would send a strong delusion, so that those outside the Kingdom may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned because they did not believe the truth, and they had their pleasure in unrighteousness. (2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12).
You know the way. It is “the gate is narrow, and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Your Brother and Friend,
PS: I remember running track in high school. I wanted to just show up and prance around the track, win a race, get a ribbon and take a bow. But that is not how it works. Winning is hard. It takes hard work, sacrifice, patience, endurance and at times it is painful. But you have to decide for yourself if it is worth it. I know it’s worth it. You just have to do it.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
PREVIOUS: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them? Part 29, “Do unto others…”
NEXT: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them? Part 31, “Beware of false prophets…”