The Narrow Way

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

When Jesus admonished His hearers with these words in this conclusion of  His Sermon on the Mount, He was undoubtedly referring to eternal salvation.  There are not many ways to heaven; in fact there is just ONE, as He makes clear in John 14:6, “I am THE way … no one comes to the Father except through Me.”  The followers of Jesus who claim that He is the only way to heaven are often accused of being “narrow-minded” — but that is just what Jesus commended here: following the narrow way which leads to eternal life.

Although that is undoubtedly the primary application of that verse, there may be another for us to consider:  that the “right” course to take in various life situations is most often NOT the “easy”, “wide” one that “everyone” takes, but the more narrow, more difficult one that “few” have the courage or conviction to follow.  The best way is often the one that takes work, planning, effort, relationship-building, meetings you don’t feel like attending, decisions you don’t want to make, humility you don’t want to adopt, effort you don’t want to make, things you don’t want to say, places you don’t want to go — and on and on. Yet the greater effort of the more difficult way renders the greater reward.

The lesson here does apply in numerous ways — maybe in some specific area of your life today?  Don’t look for the “easy” way — to heaven or anywhere else.  God’s reward almost always comes with taking “the road less traveled” that “makes all the difference.”

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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