Two Roads to choose from
13 “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.
Matthew 7 13-14
Jesus tells us there are only two ways to choose – the wide way which leads to
destruction and the narrow way which leads to life.
What does it mean to choose the narrow way?
I enjoy traveling and visiting places I even enjoy driving except for the times when I
cannot find or understand signs which tell me which way to go. We have all kinds of road signs today that tell us where to go as well as global positioning systems.
God Positioning Scripture
2 Timothy 3: 16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
And then we have these other tools available to us as well.
Church, Spiritual Leaders, Means of Grace, (prayer, fasting, bible study, healthy living, meditation, Holy communion, Christian Conferencing, baptism, giving to the poor, serving those in need, visiting the sick, & imprisoned)
Jesus says there are 2 Gates
Everyone has chosen a gate to walk through
Do you understand what each choice means?
1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Pretty Narrow huh – you know it depends on God – not good works
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Those who are heart-broken over their sin. Are you?
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Those who follow what Scripture teaches. Know the truth, do it!
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Those who want more than anything “Jesus”
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Those who pass along to others the mercy you have received. “This is Pro Active”
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
A first-century Hebrew walks alone on a hot afternoon, staff in hand. His shoulders are stooped, sandals covered with dirt, tunic stained with sweat. But he doesn’t stop to rest. He has pressing business in the city.
He veers off the road into a field, seeking a shortcut. The owner won’t mind – travelers are permitted this courtesy. The field is uneven. To keep his balance he thrusts his staff into the dirt.
Thunk. The staff strikes something hard.
He stops, wipes his brow, and pokes again.
Thunk. Something’s under there, and it’s not a rock.
The weary traveler tells himself that he can’t afford to linger. But his curiosity won’t let him go. He jabs the ground. Something reflects a sliver of sunlight. He drops to his knees and starts digging.
Five minutes later, he’s uncovered it – a case fringed in gold. By the looks of it, it’s been there for decades. Heart racing, he pries off the rusty lock and opens the lid.
Gold coins! Jewelry! Precious stones of every color! A treasure more valuable than anything he has ever imagined.
Hands shaking, the traveler inspects the coins, issued in Rome over seventy years ago. Some wealthy man must have buried the case and died suddenly, the secret of the treasure’s location dying with him. There is no homestead nearby. Surely the current landowner has no clue that the treasure’s here.
The traveler closes the lid, buries the chest, and marks the spot. He turns around, heading home – only now he’s not plodding. He’s skipping like a little boy, smiling broadly.
What a find! Unbelievable! I’ve got to have that treasure! But I can’t just take it – that would be stealing. Whoever owns the field owns what’s in it. But how can I afford to buy it? I’ll sell my farm…and crops…all my tools…my prize oxen. Yes, If I sell everything, that should be enough!
From the moment of his discovery, the traveler’s life changes. The treasure captures his imagination, becomes the stuff of his dreams. It’s his reference point, his new center of gravity. The traveler takes every new step with this treasure in mind. He experiences a radical paradigm shift.
He or She who has ears to hear, let them listen!
44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
In the musical, Fiddler on the Roof, and in the words of Tevye the milkman.
The year was 1905, and the Russians told the people in his little village, they had 3 days to vacate or the town would be destroyed. One of Tevye’s Jewish friends cried out in anger, “We should defend ourselves. An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” To which Tevye said, “Very good, that way the whole world will be blind and toothless.”
It is easy to read the words of Jesus and gloss over them, thinking that they sound nice, but in reality, if we are willing, they take us much deeper into the life of faith.
“Peacemaking requires people who work tirelessly for a just society that mirrors, however obliquely, the kingdom of God.” James Howell
In reality we have already decided which road we are going to walk, we’re on it. Does anyone want to change the road you’re walking?
Here is a comparison of the two roads based on the Sermon on the Mount above.
The Narrow Road
One gate is wide and one is narrow Jesus tells us to enter the narrow gate If you wish
to be my child you must enter the narrow gate.
“It’s all or nothing you can’t have it both ways You are for me or against me” Jesus
I can appreciate evangelism that says that God’s arms are open wide – just come to
Him and trust in Him and all will be well you will live forever
But that misses the point of what Christ asks of us If you come to me you must make
a tough decision a costly one – the gate is narrow and hard to enter
What does it mean that the gate is narrow
It means that like a turnstile only one person can enter at a time and with very little
We can only come with no baggage It means leaving the world behind
If we come to God and say we want to live for Him but our hands or hearts are filled
with possessions pride desire for worldly pleasures anything that we might hold onto
tightly we then have a problem We won’t fit through the gate
What is your baggage?
We may have chosen the narrow way but the way we live we may wonder whether we
are still on the narrow road. If so we need to get up confess sins and continue on our journey.
I pray that you have entered the narrow gate If not, you can do so today.