“The Narrow Gate”

The narrow gate relates to a state in which something is confined and restricted, lacking in breadth. It usually has pejorative (contempt or disapproval) implications, but Jesus Christ described the way of salvation in terms of narrowness.

 

Matthew 7:13-14

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

 

Bible Knowledge Commentary:  7:13–14 (Luke 13:24). Elaborating on the Golden Rule, Jesus presented the clear way of access into righteousness. The righteousness He demanded (Matt. 5:20) does not come through the wide … gate and the broad … road. Rather it comes through the small … gate and the narrow … road. In light of the whole sermon, it was obvious Jesus was comparing the wide gate and the broad road to the outward righteousness of the Pharisees. If those listening to Jesus followed the Pharisees’ teachings, their path would lead to destruction (apōleian, “ruin”). The narrow gate and road referred to Jesus’ teaching, which emphasized not external requirements but internal transformation. Even the Lord Jesus acknowledged that few would find the true way, the way that leads to life (i.e., to heaven, in contrast with ruin in hell).

 

 Luke 13:22-30

22 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”

And He said to them, 24 Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. 29 They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”

 

Bible Knowledge Commentary13:22–30. Jesus taught that many from Israel will not be in the kingdom whereas many from outside Israel will be. Someone asked Jesus if only a few people were going to be saved. Apparently His followers were somewhat discouraged that His message of the kingdom was not sweeping the nation as they thought it would. They saw that Jesus continually met opposition as well as acceptance. Jesus’ teaching was clear—a person must accept what He was saying in order to enter the kingdom. To a Jewish mind salvation was related to the kingdom, that is, a person was saved in order to enter into God’s kingdom.

Jesus responded to the person’s question with a story of a man who was giving a feast (symbolic of the kingdom, v. 29). After he closed the door to the banquet, no one else could come in for they were too late (v. 25). In fact, the host of the feast actually called them evildoers (v. 27). The latecomers responded that they had eaten and drunk with the host and that he had taught in their streets (v. 26), an obvious reference to Jesus’ ministry among the people of that generation. Jesus’ point in telling the story was that the people had to respond to His invitation at that time, for a time would come when it would be too late and they would not be allowed in the kingdom. (the time spoken of is before you die or before Jesus comes in the clouds to receive all His saints [aka: all believers])

Jesus spoke directly, telling the crowds that judgment would come on those who refused His message: There will be weeping … and gnashing of teeth and they will be thrown out, that is, not allowed to enter the kingdom. (On “weeping and gnashing of teeth” see comments on Matt. 13:42.) But godly ones in the nation (represented by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets) will be in the kingdom of God.

These remarks were revolutionary to Jesus’ hearers. Most of them assumed that because they were physically related to Abraham they would naturally enter into the promised kingdom. However, His next words were even more revolutionary—in fact devastating—to those who assumed that only the Jewish nation would be involved in the kingdom. Jesus explained that Gentiles would be added to the kingdom in place of Jewish people (Luke 13:29–30). People coming from the four corners of the world represent various population groups. Those listening to Jesus’ words should not have been surprised by this teaching because the prophets had often said the same thing. However, Jews in Jesus’ day believed that Gentiles were inferior to them. When Jesus had begun His ministry in Nazareth, His teaching of Gentile inclusion had so maddened the crowd that they tried to kill Him (4:13–30). The Jewish people considered themselves to be first in every way, but they would be last, that is, they would be left out of the kingdom. In contrast, some Gentiles, considered last, would be in the kingdom and would really be first in importance (13:30).

 

Jesus refers to the narrow gate in which a believer has to pass through in order to enter heaven. The narrowness or the Narrow Gate refers to following Jesus and believing in His teaching not others. It also refers to complying with His commandments and rules. Those who live outside His commandments  and teachings (The Broad Gate) will find themselves going through the 7 years of Tribulation or being sent to the Place of Torment.

 

Where there is no sin, there is no wrath, but there will always be  faith, hope, love and holiness. Therefore those who have faith, hope, love and holiness will always be found in Jesus’ Book of Life.

God is testing us every day and has given us the right to make our own choices. Do you know which ones are the right choices in Gods mind?

Fear God, love God, honor God, and trust God with all your heart, mind and soul and you will receive and experience the joy of the promises of God’s blessings in His time.

 

Prayer:  Father in heaven, hallowed is Thy Name.  I praise You for Your Son and the Holy Spirit. I praise You for Your grace in sending us Your wisdom about “The Narrow Gate.” I praise You for Your caring, Your loving kindness, and Your generosity. Only Your graciousness and love could forgive the sins of mankind and still allow him to become a Son or daughter of Yours. Please bless those who have read this article for they too seek Your righteous truth, love, wisdom and understanding.

May God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Christianity be our guiding lights, our safety nets and our inspiration for loving happiness in all of Your kingdom. Father into your hands I commend my spirit. Not my will, but yours be done. Please come Lord Jesus.

 

I pray in Jesus sweet name and to His glory through the power of the Holy Spirit,

Amen.

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