The Narrow Way

iStock_000000749845SmallEvery good communicator begins and ends a teaching or talk strong.  We call this the bookends.  Jesus, being the greatest speaker and teacher of all time, ended His famous Sermon on the Mount with a stunningly powerful and refreshingly simple teaching.  In Matthew 7:13-14 He introduces us to the narrow way.  While being one of His hardest teachings, it is also ultimately one of His most hope filled teachings.

Jesus tells us to “enter through the narrow gate”.  He goes on to state that there are essentially two gates or paths in life.  One is narrow, small, and difficult.  The other is wide, broad, and inviting.  Jesus is boiling all of life down to two crucial choices.  His path and then all other paths.  Philosophy tells us that life is much like a mountain with life and fulfillment and even God at the summit.  Like other mountains, this one has many different paths to get to the top.  Simply pick the path that best suits you and stick to it.  Eventually, it will take you to truth, fulfillment, and whatever you consider to be “God”.  This, however, is NOT what Jesus taught.  While Jesus was very open with His love, compassion, and service, He was extremely narrow when it came to truth.  He was so narrow that He emphatically states that all of the complexity of life comes down to a choice between two paths.

Interestingly, this principal of the Narrow Way is true in all areas of life. The narrow path ALWAYS leads to life.  If you want great health and fitness, you will have to walk a narrow path with your diet and exercise. Doing life the WIDE way like most others will lead you to the same mediocre destination as most others. To be an Olympic athlete a person must choose to live a radically different life than his or her friends. To have financial freedom you must walk a small path with your money……so small many will think your crazy!! Are you catching on?  The narrow way always leads to the most life.

This is true in all areas of life, and it is true in the most important area of life. Jesus said numerous times in the Gospels that He was the ONLY way to salvation, heaven and the Father. He left no flexibility.  He is it….the way, the path, the gate, the door.  It’s faith alone in Jesus alone.  It’s all that you are for all that He is.  In a culture that demands multiple choice answers to life, Jesus offers us one answer.  All other paths lead to destruction.  So, if you are a Christ follower, continue living the narrow life.  Love wide but live narrow.  Don’t live like everyone else.  Live the narrow life….walk the narrow path. If you’re reading this and you’ve never walked through the narrow gate called Jesus….well, I invite you to do it.  Yes it’s narrow. While the wide gate starts wide it ultimately ends in the most narrow place imaginable.  Jesus’ path starts so narrow that it may cost you everything to come through it, but it will lead you to the most wide place of freedom and life you can imagine.  The choice is yours.

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