2 Gates, 2 Roads, 2 Destinations

Our daily lives are filled with various choices and decisions like what clothes to wear, what food to eat, what things to buy. Many of those choices are relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things, like what color running shoes we’ll buy, or what toppings we’ll put on our hotdog. Other choices are very significant and life changing. The most critical one being our decision about Jesus Christ and his kingdom. Jesus in fact speaks of this most critical choice in his famous Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 7:1314 – Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

From this teaching of Jesus, we observe 2 gates, 2 roads, and 2 destinations. 

2 Gates

There are two gates according to Jesus. A narrow one and a wide one, and Jesus says, “Enter through the narrow gate.” Elsewhere, Jesus defined what he meant by the narrow gate when he said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9). According to the Scriptures, we need to be “saved” or rescued from God’s wrath and punishment because of our sin. We are all sinners, and our sins cause God’s wrath and anger to be directed against us, because God is holy and without sin. Sin therefore creates a barrier and separates us from the life of God. But the barrier of sin is removed from our life when we turn to Christ in repentance and faith.  The righteousness that we need to enter God’s kingdom isn’t a righteousness that we earn by our works, rather it is a gift from God, by virtue of what Christ did for us.  Jesus lived a perfectly righteous life, and died a sacrificial death, paying the penalty of our sins. God then raised Jesus up from the grave.  Thus, anyone who trusts in Jesus and what he’s done, enters through the narrow gate that leads to salvation.

2 Roads

The narrow gate leads to a narrow road. “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” The word in Greek for narrow is a word (stenos) that comes from a root that means to groan from being under pressure. If you are looking for an easy way, don’t follow Jesus. Following Jesus is difficult and costly. Entering through narrow gate is free, but travelling along the narrow road is costly. It will cost time, energy, money, effort, determination, and perseverance. Jesus said elsewhere, “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). Also, the Bible says, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). This is talking about the challenges along the narrow way. Don’t expect the crowds to be on this path either. Only a few find it.” It may feel lonely at times because you will be going against the general flow and direction of society. Yet, there is joy and gladness along the narrow road, because “it leads to life”. This life of joy and gladness is pictured in Isaiah 35:810 – “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. …9 … But only the redeemed will walk there, 10 … everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

2 Destinations

Every road goes somewhere.  According to Jesus there are two possible destinations for everyone. Those who do not enter through the narrow gate and travel the narrow road will, by virtue of their choice, reach a destination of destruction. “For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction.” Destruction doesn’t refer to extinction, or annihilation, as some think, but rather to total loss and ruin. It is not the loss of being. It is the loss of well-being. It is a reference to hell, being consciously and completely separated from the life of God. Jesus talked more about heaven than hell to warn people about the reality of it. Yet, there is hope. If we go through the narrow gate, by faith in Jesus, we can escape the destination of hell and destruction. Furthermore, once you’re on that narrow road, no one can take you off it.  You will eventually reach the destination of heaven. 

Categories Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 3, 2024

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