Path … Narrow and Hard (Doctrine of a Disciple)

We are going to break this verse up and look at the parts in a different order. We’ll bring it all back together in the end.

For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction …  Matthew 7

The original word translated as broad, also convey’s spacious.  So this path is wide and spacious and leads to destruction. Strong defines it as:

ruin or loss (physical, spiritual or eternal): – damnable (-nation), destruction, die, perdition, X perish, pernicious ways, waste.

It’s an easy past, but a hard destination.

and many enter through it.

This is a path you will find most people traveling. Thinking about this, it might feel the most comfortable traveling this path. There would be lots of company.

The actual first word in this verse is ‘Enter’.

Of course, most know what ‘Enter’ means, but we don’t want to miss the idea of action here. Enter requires effort, movement, it isn’t passive. It isn’t just sitting around waiting. It isn’t being carried through by someone else’s effort. There isn’t any entrance unless we ourselves make the choice to actually enter.

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. 

Narrow – some translations use ‘strait.’ No, it isn’t a misspelling of straight. Some commentaries refer to the original word, ‘stenos’ as carrying the idea of obstacles standing close together, restricting the path way. It comes from a root meaning to groan.

A little out of order, but continuing with the narrow gate, verse 14 starts with:

14 But small is the gate and narrow the road

Again, small and narrow. But here we learn it isn’t just the gate which is narrow, but the road leading to the gate. The original word translated as narrow in this verse is defined by Strong as:

to crowd (literally or figuratively): – afflict, narrow, throng, suffer tribulation, trouble.

So it isn’t just a narrow path, but one which has affliction, suffering, or trouble. So it isn’t an easy path.

The first path lead to destruction, so where does this path lead to?

the road that leads to life,

Life. It’s a hard road, but it leads to a much better place. The kicker to this verse is:

and only a few find it.

Few. As we in our modern day churches, this is a message rarely taught. The path leading up to the gate is hard one, it is narrow, and few will actually find it. Wow! Not a comforting thought now is it?

So here we are, at a crossroad. We look down one path and we see lots of people, easily walking down the road. It seems like a more pleasant path to take. But, this path shows it’s destination as Destruction.

On the other path, we see very few people, and it’s a very hard path, with afflictions and trouble. It will require a lot of effort to walk. This path shows it’s destination as Life.

Which path are you on?

 

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