Matthew 7:13-14 Enter in
at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to
destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.
First of all, let’s keep in mind to whom Jesus is speaking. He is speaking to His disciples, teaching them many important principles of the Kingdom of heaven. These teachings are usually referred to as “The Sermon on the Mount.” It begins in Matthew 5:1-2, And seeing the multitudes, Jesus went up into the mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him: and He opened His mouth, and taught them saying…. Notice that it says that Jesus saw the multitudes, but it was His disciples that came unto Him, and He taught them. So we understand that Jesus’ main concern was His disciples. These teachings of the Kingdom of heaven are primarily for the disciples of Christ, for it is His disciples that will have the heart to apply them to their lives. The multitudes, for the most part, will say He is a good teacher and go on about their lives. The multitudes were God’s people, too. Perhaps some of them will also become disciples, but most will not – For He came unto His own, and His own received Him not (John 1:11). And so it is in this day. The multitudes of God’s people will listen to His teachings and continue as they are in their lives, but those who desire to be His disciples will come unto Him and listen with a heart that desires to become as He is.
To those desiring to be His disciples Jesus says, “Enter in at the strait gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many will enter that wide gate, because strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads into life and very few will find it.” The wide gate allows passage for the many things that can crowd a Christian’s life. So, many of the things that make up the self-life can pass along the broad way. It is not so for the disciple. His gate is narrow and many of the things of self have to be discarded. There just isn’t room for a lot of baggage in the narrow way, but when you really love the Lord and really desire to be His disciple it becomes easy to cast off the weights of the self-life. It is a matter of what is most important to you. In Matthew 6:24 Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters.” You cannot serve self and the Lord at the same time. The self-life needs a broad way, but that broad way leads to destruction. The narrow way, on the other hand, leads a disciple into divine life.
In bringing this to a close I want us to look at our two verses of text in a literal translation of the Greek. Many times when reading the King James or any other translation we miss the impact of what the Greek reveals.
Verses 13-14 Enter in
through the narrow gate; because wide the gate and broad the way leading away into
destruction and many are the ones going in through it;
14 Because strait the gate and made narrow the way leading away into life and few are the ones finding it.
Notice that verse 13 of our Bible text says that the broad way leads to destruction. The literal translation, though, says the broad way leads into destruction. There is a difference in being led to something and being led into it. When you are led into it there is a greater entanglement. Even so, the majority of God’s people are taking the broad way. One of the main differences we saw is that the broad way gave space for the self-life while there had to be a discarding of the self-life to enter the narrow way. Holding on to the self-life takes you to and into destruction, and once you are entangled it is very difficult to break loose.
The Bible text of verse 14 says that the narrow leads unto life. The literal translation of the Greek says that the narrow way leads into life. The Greek word for “life” here is zoe, which means “divine life.” When you enter the strait gate, the process of emptying yourself of the self-life begins. As you travel along the narrow way more and more of self is emptied out. At the same time more and more of the divine life of our Lord comes in – we are being led into His life. Saints, this is more than just being a good Christian; this is becoming one with the Lord Jesus Christ! What would you call this? You could call it coming into His life or Him coming into your life. You could call it the rapture. You could call it the coming of the Lord. You could call it coming into His Kingdom. What would you call it? More importantly, do you desire to enter the narrow way that leads into life?
Copyright © 2005 by Henry DuBose