Jesus said: "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. because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

First of all we must consider who He spoke to… the disciples, His next generation, the very first company of  true Kingdom-believers in World history. And Kingdom history.

Such an understanding will help us define the meaning of the words destruction and life.

Here is the summary of what Jesus told them:

- Narrow gate to life… few find it

- Difficult way to life… few find it

- Wide gate to destruction… many go in by it

- Broad way to destruction… many go in by it

Because of our usual disorder regarding who is who and our reluctance to the challenge of growing up, there is a tendency to link the word destruction to eternal perdition and the word life to eternal life. In an identical way words like narrow, wide, broad and difficult.

This transforms this statement into an evangelistic message, which is not the its nature or purpose, at all. Jesus showed two options and we do wrong when we consider one of them to be about non-believers (the wide and broad gate/way leading to destruction) and the other one (the narrow and difficult gate/way leading to life) to be about believers.

Let's dig deeper.

Question: Is the gate/way leading to salvation and eternal life narrow and difficult? No, it's not. At least not for us, but it was for Him. The 'way' we have to walk is to receive the work He has done for us. That's all. And it's neither narrow nor difficult. It's wide and broad, and open for all worldwide as He died for all. No limitations, no restrictions, no qualifications, no performance. He did it all and gave it for free:

"He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." John 1,11-12

And not few find it, but many.

So how do we understand this?

I believe that the two kinds of people Jesus is talking about here, are not the saved and unsaved, the believers and unbelievers, but two groups of believers. One was people like the Pharisees who were Old Covenant believers, children of Abraham, but unwilling to step into the New Covenant era to be established by the Son of God, and the other was other children of Abraham but who walked with Him into this new Kingdom-day which was finally about to dawn after centuries of spiritual darkness. One was God-fearing and Word-believing people but who lived by their own agendas and traditions of men.

These two groups have existed since and are still represented in our days, which makes Jesus instruction still extremely accurate and relevant.

With this in mind the words of Jesus makes sense and are very much helpful. So here we go.

The wide gate and and broad way have to do with a christian life and journey after own agenda. Something like saying 'Not my will, but your will be done... but I still do what I want, when I want, the way I want and with whom I want... but I still love you and worship you Jesus, and I am still going to church.'

And I must say that many go by it. I did for decades until I realize what Jesus actually meant.

The narrow gate and the difficult way is about a life and journey in the Kingdom. Narrow because I am fully responsible and accountable for how my life actually is. Difficult because self is reluctant to leave the throne and catches any opportunity to reconquer it.

And I must say that few find it. I did and I am so thankful for the grace God showed me.

Is it elitism? Not the least.

Jesus said: "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5,20

Yes, He did drew a line between believers when it comes to the Kingdom.

Paul drew lines when he wrote to the Galatians:

"O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? - just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith." Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them." Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Gal. 3,1-14

And to the Philippians:

"Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame--who set their mind on earthly things." Phil. 3,15-19

John drew lines when he wrote the Ephesians:

"I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent." Rev. 2,2-5

Yes the wide gate and the broad way lead to destruction. Not hell for the believer, but the destruction of the mission God had entrusted us with, as well as the disastrous effects on the following generations.

And yes, this gate is truly narrow and the way is definitely difficult. But it means mission accomplished, Kingdom-advancement and accurate positioning of the following generations.

It is not impossible...

... but rewarding far beyond understanding, our most positive expectations, our most powerful proclamations and wildest dreams.

Philip DuPont (June 2021)

No items found.