The Narrow Road | Matthew 7:13-14

Welcome to Real Life. I know the verses well. I’ve heard them many times. Yet, when I read them the other day, they surprised me.

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)

By faith, I gave my life to Jesus at age 16. This means that I have lived in the Christian community for decades. Many of my family members, friends, and associates are followers of Jesus Christ. I attend a church of 4000. Surrounded by the like-minded, I naturally begin to believe “everyone’s a Christian.”

I couldn’t be more wrong.

Even when America was primarily a Christian nation, many of us were Christian in name only. We attended church because it was socially acceptable. However, in reality, our hearts were far from God. (This was me, before I came to know and love Jesus.)

But today, in many circles, attending church is no longer socially acceptable. Especially among the academia, any form of religion is considered foolishness and relegated to superstitions of centuries past. Among the religious, Christianity is but one choice among a buffet of religions. The tide has turned. In our culture of tolerance, to keep to the narrow road of Christianity is anti-social behavior.

The gate is small. Therefore, only a few find it. After reading this, the first thing I did was re-examine my own soul to be absolutely sure. Have I entered through the gate? Am I on the narrow road?

Jesus said: “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.
They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
(John 10:9-10)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
(John 14:6)

Yes. Jesus is my way, my truth, my Real Life! Has the road been narrow? In many ways, it has. Especially when compared to today’s morality which preaches that an individual’s needs, wants, passions, and pleasures are the gateways to life. As long as you are not hurting anyone, you are free to indulge in any behavior you desire. Nothing is off-limits. Consider the run-away success of Fifty Shades of Grey. Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. For a person to discipline oneself to follow the way of Christ is very narrow indeed.

Yet, are not many of the best aspects of our lives won through discipline: a stable marriage, mastery of an instrument, career success? I am a disciple of Christ. On his narrow road, I found the Real Life I was created to live:

The soul in harmony with his Maker has more life, a larger being, than the soul consumed with cares. The sage has a larger life than the clown. The poet is more alive than the man whose life flows out that money may come in. The man who loves his fellow is infinitely more alive than he whose endeavor is to exalt himself above his neighbor. The man who strives to be better in his being is more alive than he who longs for the praise of many.

But the man to whom God is all in all, who feels his life roots hid with Christ in God, who knows himself the inheritor of all wealth and worlds and ages, yes, of power essential and in itself, that man has begun to be alive indeed.

–George MacDonald (1824-1905), Scottish poet, preacher, novelist

Which road are you on?

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  1. Yes, these words are a bit disturbing and challenging to those who believe the Christian gospel will eventually embrace all. But it is so true that the road to destruction is broad. So many other things tempt us to choose anything but the narrow road in Christ. Satan does not care which false path you choose. Good stuff, Peggi!

    1. Thanks, Sean! Guess I needed a wake-up call. :) I always appreciate your comments!


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