Summary: No road, no highway, no computer network can compare with the only true superhighway - the narrow way. Are you on that highway? We have so many paths to take in life, but God’s way is the only one that leads to eternal life.
Opening illustration: Roads. They’re everywhere. Criss-crossing the landscape, taking us wherever we want to go … freeways … avenues … toll roads … boulevards.
And now there’s yet another type of thoroughfare that’s taking us to never-before traveled areas. It’s called the “information superhighway,” and it promises to be an avenue to discovery and knowledge. Via computer hookups, we can access vast libraries of new information.
Asphalt and concrete roads lead us to physical destinations. Computer highways take us to places of the mind - information destinations that can enlighten, educate, and entertain us. All those roads … all those decisions … all those possibilities. Yet no road, no highway, no computer network can compare with the only true superhighway - the narrow way. Are you on that highway? We have so many paths to take in life, but God’s way is the only one that leads to eternal life.
There were times when we didn’t have digital navigation systems and if we ever missed an exit, it was not easy to get back on our designated route. Sometimes you desire to go to a particular destination but because we fed in the wrong information, we land up in a place not intended. You may have the right equipment, but use it incorrectly. Having the right equipment doesn’t guarantee the right destination. You may have God’s Word, the right people and church around you or even a saved family but that is not going to give you eternity with Christ. It happens only when you decide to make the right choice to follow Christ on the narrow path.
In Matthew 7, Jesus told us about that way. It is entered through a narrow gate, its course is difficult, and it is not as crowded as the broad way that leads to destruction. Jesus was talking about the path that we take when we put our faith in Him. He was talking about the road to heaven.
Introduction: Christ here compares the way to life to an entrance through a gate. The words straight, and strait, have very different meanings. The former means not crooked; the latter pent up, narrow, difficult to be entered. This is the word used here, and it means that the way to heaven is pent up, narrow, close, and not obviously entered. The way to death is open, broad, and thronged. The Savior here referred probably to ancient cities. They were surrounded with walls, and entered through gates. Some of those, connected with the great avenues to the city, were broad, and admitted a throng. Others, for more private purposes, were narrow, and few would be seen entering them. So says Christ, is the path to heaven. It is narrow. It is not the great highway that men tread. Few go there. Here and there one may be seen - traveling in solitude and singularity. The way to death, on the other hand, is broad. Multitudes are in it. It is the great highway in which men go. They fall into it easily, and without effort, and go without thought. If they wish to leave that, and go by a narrow gate to the city, it would require effort and thought. (Ed: And likely would incite considerable persecution from the fellow wayfarers on the broad way to hell!) So, says Christ, diligence is needed to enter into life. None go of course. All must strive to obtain it; and so narrow, unfrequented, and solitary is it, that very few find it.
How to navigate the narrow road?
1. Bearing and Producing Good FRUIT (vs. 13-20)
Starting with vv. 13-27 there is a series of contrasts related here.
• the two ways of performing religious duties (vv. 13-14)
• the two types of religious leaders (vv. 15-23)
• the two foundations of a religious life (vv. 24-27)
The question is not to which group of religious people Jesus referred, but to how religious people respond to their understanding of God’s will. Some use religion as a guise to gain immediate praise and rewards from men. It is a “me” and “now” focused lifestyle (cf. Isa. 29:13; Col. 2:16-23). True disciples order their lives in light of Jesus’ words about the present and coming Kingdom of God.
“for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction” “Way” can be (1) a metaphor for lifestyle and (2) the earliest title of the church (cf. Acts 9: 2; 19: 9,23; 22: 4; 24: 14,22; 18: 25-26). This verse implies that salvation is not an easy decision which fits in with the mainstream of culture, but a decisive change of life which issues in obedience to the principles of God. The fact that one way leads to destruction shows the ultimate outcome of those who live lives independent of God. Often they seem very religious.