Narrow and Wide Gates

Narrow and Wide Gates

This week we look at one of the more controversial and often misunderstood statements Jesus made in the Sermon on the Mount. It’s Matthew 7:13-14 where Jesus said, “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.”

If you look carefully and examine the life and teachings of Jesus, you’ll notice what looks like a very strange paradox. On the one hand, Jesus makes statements that appear to be outrageously exclusive, and yet he pursued relational connections with people who were scandalously inclusive. It’s like the narrower Jesus gets in his devotion to God, the more broad-minded he is in his love for people. Maybe the possibility of finding deep truth and offering broad tolerance are not mutually incompatible. Maybe they’re mutually inseparable. We unpack these two verses this week.

Next Steps

  • I will define “narrow gate” as obeying Jesus in all things, not narrow-mindedness, doctrinal correctness, or how many people will end up in Heaven.
  • I will begin thinking and praying about putting obedience to Jesus above all else.
  • I will be narrow in my devotion to God and broad-minded in my interactions with people who are different than me.
  • I will read through the Sermon on the Mount, asking God to speak to me.
  • I will consider obeying Jesus as the greatest opportunity I’ll ever know in my life.
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