Matthew 7:13-14 - The Narrow Gate

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. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Many years ago I went to Nepal and I was invited by a local resident for a meal. He took me into the house from a side entrance, through a door that was not only extremely narrow, but short as well. The door frame jutted nearly six inches off the ground, and vines covered the wall, so the gate was almost concealed. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, other than wonder which century it was constructed in because it was ancient. But when I came across this verse I was reminded of that peculiar door because I imagined the narrow gate described by Jesus may have been something like that.

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized why Jesus had made the comparison. One, it was hard to find. Jesus once spoke about the Kingdom of Heaven being like treasure hidden in a field that a man found accidentally, meaning that it wasn’t in plain sight; one had to look for it (see Matthew 13:44). Two, you had to both lift your feet and crouch a bit to cross the threshold, both of which were conscious decisions you had to make, or risk tripping up and/or banging your head. Accepting salvation is a conscious decision. One can, of course, look for more symbolism in this act, but I leave that to you.

Three, the door was so narrow that only one person could get through it at one time, which suggested that salvation was an individual proposition. We might want to save our entire family, including cousins and second cousins, but we can't walk through the door for them. They have to walk through it themselves. But we can show them — and others — the door. As a matter of fact, we are duty bound to do so. Having found it, we cannot keep the knowledge of salvation to ourselves. We have to share it with others, showing other people where it is and how to get in.

My friend in Nepal had invited only me to dinner. And it was a simple meal. But our Father in heaven has prepared a banquet for everyone in the world. So, let us invite them to this feast and all of us will be blessed for it. 

God bless you.