Narrow Is the Gate - Matthew 7:14

Verse of the Day - Day 329

Narrow Is the Gate
Photo: Bill Fairchild / Composition: Sue Chastain

Welcome to Verse of the Day!

Today's Bible Verse:

Matthew 7:14

But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (NLT)

Today's Inspiring Thought: Narrow Is the Gate

Jesus Christ made it clear that he alone is the gateway to life: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6, NIV)

Part of what makes the entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven so narrow is that Christ alone is the gate:

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. (John 10:9, NIV)

Another meaning attached to the narrow gateway refers to its level of difficulty. The word "narrow" used here comes from the verb thlibō, which means "to experience trouble or difficulty."

The Road Is Difficult

Jesus never said the pathway to the Father would be an easy road. Somehow along the way we've gotten the impression that the Christian life is full of blessings only. One of the most common misconceptions of new believers is thinking that once we are saved, God will solve all of our problems.

The Greek word for difficult in Matthew 7:14 means "constricted" or "pressed upon." Literally, it means pressed, or hemmed in between walls or rocks, like the pathway in a mountain gorge

We are better prepared to walk the Christian way if we realize our steps may lead us to disappointments, misunderstandings, rejection, and persecution.

The Apostle Paul aptly described a snippet of the difficult road in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  (NIV)

Only a Few

Both Old and New Testaments tell us that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Joel 2:32 and Romans 10:13). If the path to heaven is open to everyone, why is it that only a few ever find it?

Matthew 7:14 reminds us that true discipleship is a minority endeavor. When presented with a choice between a rocky, narrow, pot-hole pitted road and a smooth, wide, paved freeway, which one would most of us choose? The majority of people prefer to take the path of least resistance--the easy, scenic, or comfortable route. We like our creature comforts.

Few of us are willing to surrender all that is dear to our natural inclinations to live a life of self-sacrifice. We aren't ready to pay the price of discipleship.

The road to heaven will be difficult, indeed. Jesus wants us to know that this earthly life, which leads to eternal life, is litered with hardships. It won't be easy. But Jesus Christ promises always to walk by our side and even carry us when our struggles become too difficult to bear. Everlasting life with him is our reward.

Sources

  • Blomberg, C. (1992). Matthew (Vol. 22, p. 132). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
  • Hare, D. R. A. (1993). Matthew (p. 82). Louisville, KY: John Knox Press.