“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matt. 7:13–14)
Is the way of Jesus exclusive or inclusive?
It is exclusive in its claim that the only way to God is through Jesus. It’s inclusive in proclaiming that Jesus, God himself in the flesh, died on the cross for the redemption of the whole world. The gate is as narrow as God himself.
The gate is narrow. But the grace runs deep.
The road is narrow. But it stretches to the ends of the earth.
The gate into the kingdom is not what you have done for God, but what God has done for you. The road is not your record of right and wrong. The road is his righteousness. Our entrance into the kingdom is not dependent on how well we embody the teachings of Jesus. It is dependent on Jesus himself.
The gate to heaven left his throne. The road to God came to us.
It strikes me that the imagery is not only of a gate. It is also of a road. Both the gate and the road form one image together. It’s a reminder that we don’t simply stand inside the gate. This a journey that leads down that road, deeper into grace, deeper into dependence on Jesus. The same grace that found me, gripped me, saved me, forgave me, redeemed me, is still at work in me. The road leads us forward, step-by-step, move by move. Into the awakening.
Jesus, you are the way’the one and only. You are the gate into the kingdom and the road into the Father’s heart. Help me to remember my utter dependence on you in walking out my faith. You are the path beneath my feet, and every step forward depends on you.
In what ways have you depended on your own strength instead of on the grace of Jesus? What is one consistent part of your life that you struggle to relinquish to his control? What does it mean that Jesus uses imagery of both the gate and the road? How do they interplay?
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