Slideshow image

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. -Matthew 7:13-14

Check out last Sunday’s sermon here.

Pastor Mike helped us consider the impact of Jesus’ word picture in Matthew 7:13-14. Jesus reveals two simple, universal principles for every human in all of life.

First, everyone is an Enterer (Yes, that’s not a word).

Second, every enterer will enter one of two gates/paths, narrow or wide.

Life, the Act of Entering

Pastor Mike shared that Jesus uses one imperative for everyone to hear. Enter (Εἰσέλθατε or Eiselaythatteh). The meaningfulness and purposefulness of life are infused into Jesus’ statement. He is laying down a map (as Pastor Mike shared) and is showing us the direction to certainty, to truth.

So, in one word, Jesus confirms the meaning and purpose in one’s work, leisure, lawn mowing, changing diapers, cutting alfalfa, doing taxes, raising a baby, doing dishes, having surgery, learning, sweeping, watching animals, playing sports, buying clothes, and every single other aspect of life. All of us are Enterers. Which gate, though?

Two Gates, Narrow or Wide

Jesus says:

  1. The true gate is the narrow, hard, seldom-trodden path to life.
  2. The false gate is wide, easy, and overflowing to destruction.

Addressing Doubts

Question: Why does it seem that someone, claiming to be a Christian, will turn from Christ after long exposure to a pluralistic* society?

Jesus seems to approach life too simplistically, especially when you consider the pantheon of little gates that Jesus does not mention. Seeing the seemingly many little gates (as Pastor Mike shared) folks enter can be debilitating for one desiring to cling to Jesus’ words.

It could be said today that you only need to meet other people on another path to discover they are humans like you. They are Enterers with goals and standards for life. They share some things that you value even.

You might then conclude, “She is a kind person, though she doesn't believe in Jesus. She seems to benefit society and seek to live at peace with me. How could her gate be wrong?

It is commonly this exposure to people on the many different life paths that cause you to think, “If all these people are flourishing on all their divergent paths, how can I have confidence in the narrow path of following Jesus?

Jesus Addressing Doubts

Jesus, holy God-man, was anything but simplistic. And He was not naive to the many little gates that distract humanity from the truth.

What is truth? -Pontius Pilate (John 18:38)

Pontius Pilate asked Jesus a good question, though he spoke it pessimistically. On the brink of Jesus’ execution, Pilate was presented with the narrow gate of Jesus, yet he skeptically remained on the wide path.

Jesus offered Pilate a solution, an answer that commended the narrow gate to him and every one of us.

For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice. -Jesus (John 18:37b)

Jesus bears witness to the truth. He bore witness to Pilate, a Roman who was exposed to a pantheon of little gates, little gods, the pleasures of life, and allure of power. Yet, Pilate's condition did not alter the reality of Jesus’ words. Jesus affirmed the truth of His narrow gate in the presence of many little wide, destructive gates.

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

The presence of many gates does not diffuse Jesus’ truth, though it may discourage, confuse, and draw the masses away. The realities of life, with its many gates, actually reaffirm how wide and how popular the destructive gate is.

So, let’s go back to the previous question.

Question: Why does it seem that someone, claiming to be a Christian, will turn from Christ after long exposure to a pluralistic* society?

Answer: Because the wide gate is the same old miser that anyone, ever, in all of history, has taken to turn away from Christ.

The question now is, “Which gate will you enter?” -Pastor Mike

Enter all at once by the grace of Christ.

Enter every day by the grace of Christ.

*Pluralism is, “a condition or system in which two or more states, groups, principles, sources of authority, etc., coexist.” As defined by Oxford Languages.