Homily: The Narrow Gate

Matthew 7:13-1413Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14How narrow is the gate and difficult the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it!”

Thoughts on Today’s Homily
A parable concerning the kingdom of God. Concept of the city gate: Jerusalem had wide and narrow gates to the city with which the Jewish listeners would be familiar. Possibly, particular gates would have been brought to mind as Jesus told this parable. The picture is that of two gates by which one may enter, two paths/roads by which one may travel, and two destinations to which each path would ultimately lead. One gate is wide and the road is spacious, easy traveling. The other gate is narrow and the road is fraught with peril and difficulty.

If we were standing before the two gates, what would we see?

We’d see a majority of the people choosing the wide gate with easy traveling while only a few choose the narrow gate fraught with difficulty. I think I’d be tempted to follow the masses due to my tendency to go along with the crowd coupled with my disdain for pain. When standing before the two gates, one’s understanding of what lies ahead is limited to what is before one’s site; however, Jesus gives us a view to the destination: destruction (wide gate/path) or life (narrow gate/path). And He exhorts us to enter the kingdom of God through the narrow gate and experience LIFE!

This parable is a view to the reality of life in the kingdom of God following our King:

  1. We enter the kingdom of God through the narrow gate (justification in Christ the cruciform King – cf. John 10:7-10)
  2. We live the cruciform life in the kingdom following our cruciform King (sanctification in Christ – cf. Acts 14:21-22)
  3. We experience the culmination of our cruciform lives with the cruciform King: LIFE (glorification in Christ – cf. Matthew 19:29)

This illustration accurately presents salvation past, present, and future in and through Christ as a difficult road that leads to life. This is what the disciples were to teach others.

Wide gate -> Path: easy traveling -> Destination: DESTRUCTION
Narrow gate -> Path: difficult traveling -> Destination: LIFE

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