Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
There are only two ways: the right way and the wrong way; the good way and the evil way; the way to heaven and the way to hell; the bad way of sin, and the good way of sacredness; the way of saints and the way of sinners; the way of the godly and the way of the ungodly.
The question: The broad way or the narrow way? Don’t follow the examples of those going the wrong way, because the Bible says, “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Please read Luke 13:23-30.
Enter ye in at the strait gate. The strait gate means narrow and difficult, and represents the difficulty of entering the Christian life and living in obedience to His Word. Jesus compares the way to life to an entrance through a gate. The word strait has many different meanings: not crooked, but narrow and difficult to be entered. That means the way to heaven is narrow and difficult to enter, because so few are seeking it. The way to death is open, broad, and many are going the wrong way. Jesus probably refers to ancient cities, because they were surrounded by walls and entered through gates. Some of the pathways into the city were very wide and multitudes could enter at one time while others were narrow, and few would be able to enter.
Jesus is saying that the path to heaven is a very narrow path. It is not the highway that we would prefer to travel and few attempt to find it. Jesus seems to make a distinction between the public and private ways mentioned by the Jewish lawyers. The public roads were allowed to be about forty-eight feet wide, while the private ways were only about twelve feet wide. The words in the original are very emphatic “enter in through the strait gate,” though it may be narrow.
For wide is the gate. On the other hand, the way to death is broad and multitudes are traveling on it, because they can get onto it easily, without effort, and go without thought of the end. It would require effort and thought to enter onto the narrow way, and most are not willing to travel it. Jesus is saying that it takes some diligence to enter into this life.
Luke 13:24, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”
Not many will stay the course and those that do must strive to obtain it, because it is so narrow that few find it.
Isaac Watts said, “Broad is the road that leads to death, and thousands walk together there; but wisdom shows a narrower path, with here and there a traveler.”
It is a very broad or sizeable place that leads to destruction, misery, and intimidation. On this road people are covetous, and take advantage of one another seeking to improve themselves at the expense of others, rather than walking according to the rules laid down by the Lord.
Few there be that find it. The way “gate,” among the Jews, usually means the entrance, introduction, or a means of acquiring something. They speak of the gate of repentance, the gate of prayers, and the gate of tears. They believe that God shut the gate of paradise against Adam, but He opened to him the gate of repentance.
The way to heaven is made so easy by means of the Gospel that anyone seeking will be able to find it. However, most are so involved in their own lives and passions, and so determined to follow the imaginations of their own hearts, that it is said of them, few there be that find it. Nothing but sin will keep anyone off the narrow way.
TO BE CONCLUDED TOMORROW!