Summary: At the end of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus makes it clear - we all face a choice as to the sorts of people we are going to be. Who are you?
Have you ever been watching a movie or tv show where they are driving in the car. It is amazing how long they can talk for and nobody is looking out the front windscreen.
(Have a pretend conversation).
Now, if you did that it real life you would be dead wouldn’t you.
But the reality is that there are lots of people like that. People who are taking the journey of life and they are not really looking where they are going.
All they think about is the moment they are having in the car.
Or maybe they look out the side window ... look there is a tree, a house, a playground.
As they get older then they start to look into the rear vision mirror ... do you remember how everything was in the good-old days?
We can be like that can’t we ... actually forgetting that life is a journey which is going somewhere. Now, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has something to say about this sort of approach to life.
What is Jesus saying here? Well He is saying that life is going somewhere and we have to make a choice. Let’s have a look and see what that choice involves.
Two Gates and Paths
There is no such thing as a road that goes no-where.
Nor is it possible to go on a journey without reaching some sort of destination.
Imagine you’re a parent and you say to your kids, “We are going to Dreamworld”. They get all excited and talk about it for weeks. Then on the day everyone is up early and you make your way down there and arrive at 10:00am. And you’re sitting in the car in the carpark and you say to your kids, “Ok, we have been to Dreamworld now we are going home”. What sort of parent would you be? Actually it would be kind of funny – wouldn’t it. But the point of driving to Dreamworld ... the point of the journey ... is to get out of the car, go and enjoy the rides, eat too much food, and watch all the shows.
Every journey has a destination – and there are two destinations on offer. To get there you need to go through a gate. The purpose of a gate is to give you an entry point. Here are some pictures of a few gates:-
• Cattle Yard.
• Kirribilli House.
The style of the gate gives you a hint at what lies beyond. Jesus is making the same point.
There is a wide gate
Wide gates are inviting and easy to get through. With wide gate you don’t need to offload any baggage and you can bring a whole heap of stuff through them. The wide gate can accommodate all, without anyone having to make any real sacrifices.
You don’t have to change.
You can do live your way.
You can make the rules.
It has no restrictions.
It tolerates many.
And it is very, very attractive.
Especially because beyond the wide gate there is a broad road. There is room for everyone on the broad road; and there are no boundaries. So going down this road is fun and everyone is on it and they all seem to be having a great time. Since it is the popular road we can do all sorts of crazy things because everyone else is doing it as well. It is the easy road.
In contrast you have the narrow gate and the narrow road.
In German there is a cave which is called the Woolve Run Spring Cave. The cave entrance is a narrow opening, mostly under water … and the first 1,000m of cave passage is more or less water filled. Diving equipment is necessary to enter this cave. The first part of the cave is also narrow and dangerous with floods. However, once you get past the entrance the cave goes on for a total of 6,497m. The most impressive part of the cave is a huge chamber called Wubadrom which is one of the biggest cave chambers in the world.
If you want to get into this cave it is going to take a lot of effort, planning, as well as a willingness to become fit. You’re going to have to deny yourself many things.
Basically that is what the narrow gate is all about.
There is no room for chasing after the world and its pleasure, no room for unforgiving spirits, and there is no room for the self-righteous.
It is only as we submit to the demands of the Son of God that we know what it means to enter. The gate is narrow because many will not chose to enter through it.
If you are going to enter in the narrow gate, Jesus must be first in your life.