Friday, February 25, 2011
Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Enter is in the aorist imperative tense, and therefore demands a definite and specific action. The command is not to admire or to ponder the gate but to enter it. Many people admire the principles of the Sermon on the Mount but never follow those principles. Many people respect and praise Jesus Christ but never receive Him as Lord and Savior. Because they never receive the King and never enter the kingdom, they are as much separated from the King and as much outside His kingdom as is the rankest atheist or most unethical pagan.
Jesus' command is not simply to enter some gate but to enter the narrow gate. Every person enters one gate or the other; that is unavoidable. Jesus pleads for men to enter the right gate, God's gate, the only gate that leads to life and to heaven.
Jesus has repeatedly shown the narrowness of God's internal standard of righteousness, in contrast to the broad and external standards of Jewish tradition. The path to that narrow way of kingdom living is through the narrow gate of the King Himself. "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6)...