Jesus Invites His Followers to Choose the Narrow Path
Topic: Sermon on the Mount Passage: Matthew 7:13–7:23
The whole Bible is replete with binary choices: worship the Lord or false gods (Joshua 24:13), walk as a righteous person or a wicked person (Psalm 1). The Sermon on the Mount offers several as well: God’s kingdom or the kingdom of this world, true inner righteousness or external religion, God or mammon, etc. Most of us would prefer a middle option so we could dabble in the gospel without having to be completely committed to it. But Jesus calls us to make a real choice.
Jesus invites his followers to choose the narrow path that leads to life.
As Jesus transitions to the conclusion of his Sermon on the Mount, he presents us with the choice of the narrow gate versus the wide gate. The “narrow gate” is Jesus’ way of issuing a call to costly discipleship. He says it’s narrow, hard, and few find it.
- Restrict baggage, possibly old habits, sinful desires, untruth, etc.
- Are harder to see and require a search, thus few find them.
- Allow individuals through one at a time, rather than groups.
This does not necessarily mean there will be a small number of believers in heaven. Revelation 7:9 describes a “multitude that no one could number.” That multitude is comprised of all tribes, peoples, and languages; thus, heaven will have the full diversity of humanity present.
Although the narrow gate leads to a hard way, Jesus also said his yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30), and his Father is good (v. 11). Beware of false teachers (v. 15), who distort God’s goodness and offer a compromise instead of the call to discipleship. Decide to make Jesus your Lord by giving him your heart and every part of yourself. This is where true life is found.
Taking It Home: Discuss with your family or small group specific examples of the narrow path and how it contrasts with the paths that are more popular.
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