Summary: Today Jesus introduces a reality that, when you understand what he's saying, goes against what is commonly thought in the world today. In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus talks about the narrow and wide gates.
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT (part 20)
Today Jesus introduces a reality that, when you understand what he's saying, goes against what is commonly thought in the world today. Jesus talks about the narrow and wide gates.
1) The road less travelled.
Matt. 7:13-14, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
Wait a minute, 2nd Pet. 3:9 says that God wishes that no one would spiritually perish? So why are most going to? Jesus isn't stating his desire or intentions but the reality of what will be. The road to destruction is wide because there are many ways to find yourself on it. I get on this broad road through pride, selfishness, resentment, anger toward God, apathy, disbelief, denial, etc.
My pride tells me I don't need Jesus. My selfishness tells me I don't want Jesus, my resentment tells me Jesus is no good, my anger rejects Jesus, my apathy doesn't care about Jesus, my disbelief tells me there is no God, my denial tells me I already have eternal life when I don't.
2nd Cor. 4:4 says satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they can't see the light of the gospel. Satan blinds people's eyes to their need of Jesus. Satan blinds people to the severity of their actions. Satan blinds people to their current spiritual state. A lot of people think they're good and are going to heaven because of it. Satan blinds people so they think they're okay with God when they're not. Satan blinds people to think they're on the right road when they're not.
Luke 13:22-27, "Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.
Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’”
These people expected to be let in; they thought they were good to go. And when they were told, "I don't know you" they were surprised. Their response is revealing. Sure, they were around Jesus but they weren't connected to Jesus. They thought because Jesus hung out with them it meant they were in. And they may have heard the teachings of Jesus but they didn't truly accept the teachings of Jesus and put them into practice. They used the wrong criteria to determine they were going to heaven.
People do the same thing today. They think that just because they believe in Jesus they're in. But the problem is they don't follow Jesus; Jesus isn't their Lord. They might go to church, do some volunteer work, sing the praises, watch the movies and things like that. But meanwhile, they are merely feel-good followers, fans, if you will.
"I don't know you". The reason Jesus said that was because he didn't know them on a relational level. He knew who they were, but they didn't take the opportunity to know him on an intimate level. I know who the president is but I don't know him personally. And I could be around a person without having a friendship with him.
People are like that today. They know who Jesus is but it's just on a surface level. When we think knowing about Jesus or simply believing in Jesus is enough, then we might be some of the ones on the other side of the door wondering why we're not allowed in and Jesus will say, "I don't know you".
Then you have the people who believe it doesn't matter what teaching, religion or belief you have because all roads lead to heaven. But that's not true. Prov. 14:12, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." There is only one way to be found in God's favor. The road is narrow because there is only one way to get on it-through Jesus. In John 14:6 Jesus said that he is the only way; no one will have God's approval apart from him.
In chapter 10, Jesus explains that he is the gate. John 10:7-10, "Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."