4.23.21 – Daily Dose of Worship. A study on Matthew. Part 81. Easy?

How easy is it to go down the road of destruction? Very. Check out Matthew 7:13.

“‘Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.”

As Jesus nears the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1–2), He describes a series of choices His listeners must make. The first is between the narrow gate which opens to a more difficult path and the wide gate which opens to the easy path. While this analogy is purposefully simple, it carries several layers of meaning.

Within the context of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5—7, it’s clear He is pointing to Himself and His teaching on inner righteousness as the “narrow gate.” He also indicates that this opens onto a hard path. In other words, those who follow Him should understand they are choosing a difficult road, from a worldly perspective (Matthew 5:10–12). It will, however, lead to life.

The choice most people will make is the wide gate leading to an easy path. The imagery of a “wide” gate implies something easy to see, and easy to get through. It also suggests something that accommodates our preferences: wide gates give us more choice over how to pass through than do narrow ones. Since what lies on the other side of that gate appears to be easy, it’s the choice most people will make. This has sad, heart-rending implications for the eternal fate of most people.

In part, Jesus is referring to those who will continue to follow the teaching of Israel’s religious leaders, the scribes and Pharisees. Their legalistic teaching about the Law required from Israelites no heart change, only outward, self-promoting obedience to the rules. This is “easier,” in a sense, because it only requires a person to pretend to be righteous. Jesus warned His followers that this was a too-easy road that lead to eternal destruction.

The wide gate implies something that easy to see and easy to get through….

The narrow gate? Just the opposite.

The path that Jesus is proposing? The narrow gate. It’s not easy, it’s not supposed to be. A walk with Jesus means many things but it does not mean that it will be easy.

5 Comments

  1. Barbara S on April 23, 2021 at 6:52 am

    Had stuff to hear but it is one of my favorite passages! Great stuff Dave!

    • Diane J on April 23, 2021 at 10:42 am

      I must be on the narrow path I just Need to change my heart More of You God Less of Me

    • Dave Pettigrew on April 27, 2021 at 10:45 am

      Thanks Barbara. Yes, hard to hear sometimes but so needed!

  2. Peggy Ferguson on April 23, 2021 at 11:54 am

    brings me back to surrender……..and trust!!! One day, one minute, one step …….at a time!

    • Dave Pettigrew on April 27, 2021 at 10:45 am

      Amen. Surrender indeed.

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