Matthew 7:13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
This verse kind of acts as an end to the teaching Jesus gives in the Sermon on the Mount. The few lessons that follow are lessons about applying what has come before. So this narrow gate thing has to do with actually making the things Jesus has been saying the guiding force of our lives. But which ones? Any of you who have tried to put Jesus’ teaching into practice know how overwhelming this can be. Is it all about getting our act more together and being better than we’ve been? If you travel on highways you will regularly come to those places where the lanes of traffic get condensed and things slow or stop- accident scenes, “gaper” delays, toll booths, road construction. All of a sudden the way becomes narrow, constricted, and congested. Where before there was ample room for everyone, now cars, and the people in them, are inches apart, jostling for position. We listen to the radio or check the internet in hopes of avoiding these if we can, and maybe that’s the point; not that we are supposed to deal with all Jesus’ teaching at once and become well on our way to perfection (like there’s any chance of that!), but that we confront honestly that place in our lives where our love for God and other people has become narrow, constricted and congested, now. Rather than shooting through our imagined easy-pass lane (how I love that!), maybe Jesus is asking us to look around and see what has gone wrong on our road or what price is due and who we have jostling around us that we might accommodate and help get through also. This week look around at your road. Is there a narrow gate you need to enter?