Summary: This sermon deals with the parable of the Wide and Narrow Gates
For the last few weeks you have heard a lot of discussion about how God has created you and me with something quite amazing. He has specifically wired us so that we might have the capability to make decisions on our own—He has given us the power or the ability to choose. Obviously we use this ability many thousands of times every single day. Some of the decisions we make are almost involuntary in nature such as blinking, swallowing or moving our eyes in order to see something. But other decisions we make are a bit more deliberate such as walking, eating, or your decision to come to church today. And did you notice that this single decision about coming to church gave birth—if you will, to a whole litter of other decisions, for example, what do I wear, which route will I take to get there, what time do I need to leave, and some of you even have to decide what car you are going to drive…
Life is full of decisions. In fact, I would go so far as to say that our lives are ultimately the end result of the decisions that we have made. Granted, some decisions are more important than others, for instance what you decide to name your dog is not nearly as important as who you decide to marry. And what kind of car to buy pales in comparison to the question, should we have children? Naturally the more important decisions require more time and careful consideration before we make them. And while some decisions affect only a moment in our day, other decisions that we make could radically change the course of our entire lives.
This morning we’re going take a close look at a decision that we are all eventually faced with and this particular decision is even more important than who you will marry, or what career you choose—in fact it is no doubt the most important decision that you will ever make.
Let’s look together at Matthew 7:13,14 (READ)
In many of Jesus’ parables, He uses real life situations that we are familiar with in order to help us better understand spiritual principles that we may not be so familiar with. So first let’s consider the literal aspect of this parable. Picture with me in your mind if you will, that you are at a crossroads and there before you are only two choices. You see a wide gate with a broad road and a small gate with a narrow road. Let’s examine literal characteristics of the wide gate first.
I. Wide gate / broad road
A. Easy to access. You don’t have to duck your head or suck in your gut to enter into this gate..
B. We can carry anything we want with us through this particular gate there are no limits to the amount of baggage we can take through it.
C. Jesus said that many enter through it, so we can reason that it’s a very popular gate, all the coolest people are entering here and from a social standpoint, this is where we want to be...
D. Because this path is so well used, it would not likely be littered with obstacles or hard to traverse sections.. it should be pretty easy traveling.
E. This gate is so wide and so easy to access that you don’t even have to have aim for it. In fact, if you don’t choose the small gate, you will fall through this one by default!
II. Small gate / narrow road
A. Not very easy to access, unlike the wide gate we can’t just casually and unknowingly “fall through it.” You must intentionally go through this gate.
B. And with the small gate, there is only enough room for you…can’t get a lot of extra baggage through this gate.
C. Jesus tells us that few people enter this gate or travel this path so we might expect quite a few places of difficult travel—we would probably often find ourselves consulting a map..
D. And because so few people take this path through this gate, we can determine that it is not a very popular gate…You won’t find that you are traveling with the social elite of your town—in fact when people see you headed for this gate, they might think you are a little strange for choosing this odd way..
III. Now that we’ve talked about the characteristics of the literal gates and paths, let’s look at the spiritual significance of this parable. (read 13 and 14 again)
A. I suppose that when many people read this, they assume that the gate is at the end of the journey, either the golden gate of heaven or the gate of hell or destruction. But notice that here, the gate is actually mentioned first meaning that the gate opens up to the path—not the other way around.. I want to suggest to you today that the two gates represent two possible decisions or two choices.