“Small is gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only few find it.”
Decades upon decades of legalism have given us an unfortunate interpretation and understanding of the’ “straight and narrow.” Many people are lead to believe that heaven is only for those who can live up to the demands of the Gospel and there are very few precious people that can do that, but as we look down though history we see that attempts to live up to the requirements of God are many. Every religion places demands on its believers and while no one lives up to these demands perfectly, many do a really good job of trying. Their trying and their good job will, however, will not fit through the Lord’s narrow gate.
If the straight and narrow way of living, the doing right, and keeping away from sin as most would describe it, were the keys to life in the Lord’s kingdom, then the Sadducees and Pharisees would have all made it through the gate. But the Lord had more issues, problems, and disputes with them than anyone else. The Lord’s encounters with tax collectors and prostitutes were not a indication of good works either. The Lord’s mercies indicated a far different approach to His kingdom and everlasting life. The small and narrow road that Jesus talks about is himself and the only people who ever find the narrow road are the ones who give up walking it alone. When we think that we are the “gate”, then we think our efforts are the key. We are so wrong and we will miss that true gate every time. Jesus said in (John 10:7) that he is the true gate.
Not long ago I visited a man in a nursing home. While I was there a woman from his church came in and the conversation soon turned to their church and their denomination. Everything was about the church, what the church was doing and how they fit into their denomination. The conversation went from church yard sales, to money given to missions, to how great their pastor was, to the dinner that the church was soon to have. Never once was the name of Jesus even mentioned. Never once was there anything said about souls being saved. It is sad but these people think because of all their church activities they are on that straight and narrow road. How Sad!
Through much self effort we think that we have found this small narrow gate of trust in Jesus. When some people are saved they try to live by faith in their efforts, but they should be living by the faith of the Lord’s saving grace. We try to work for our lord when we should be letting the Master work through us. We aim to be righteous, but what we really should do is to trust in Jesus as our righteousness. The narrow road that Jesus speaks about leads away from us and to Him. Everything in the scriptures is about Him, “Jesus”, it is by His grace that we travel that narrow road,