“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Why do you suppose it is that there are many who go in the wide gate and the broad way that leads to destruction” OK. Simple answer…sin…right? It’s because of our father, Adam, but it’s not solely his fault, now is it? It’s because of us, too. It’s because we as mankind are sinners, and sinful.
“Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Ask another question. If I am such a wretched, black-hearted sinner, given to having beams in my eyes, and the gate is hard to find (and it must be, because there are few who find it)…how can I find it at all?
The answer there is also simple, isn’t it? Because Yahweh shows it to you. Now there are different people He shows the gate in different ways. Some…it happens in ICU. You know what…there are others of us, hopefully sitting in this room, who are going to be able to be on their death beds, and say with Jacob…’The Lord who has been my shepherd all my life to this very day…I’ve never known a day I didn’t know Jesus Christ.’ They didn’t go through the gate by accident. They went through the gate because they were shoved through.
For most of us it is because at some point in time we end up with that perfect law of liberty right here, right? It may get there because of crises in our lives that have nothing to do with us, we think, having seen the Scriptures or having heard the Gospel preached. Or we may hear the Gospel preached, and it sounds so good, or the alternative sounds so bad…that we say ‘Yeah, I want to go through that door. I’ll take door B.”
And we know, too, from the story of Christian [in Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”], do we not, that sometimes you will be on that pathway and there will be these ‘side’ roads, right. In fact we know that all too well, now don’t we, that we get off the pathway. You know what? Do you think Jesus doesn’t know those side roads exist? Some of them we are supposed to be thankful for, right? They are trials Count it all joy when you fall into them. Because that trial is just a side road…it’s a test.
There’s probably not a one of us who didn’t get off on one of those side roads at some point in time this week. I’m not aware of anybody who failed to kneel for our time of confession, other than for reason of physical limitation. And Jesus calls you here. You have confessed your sins. Forgiveness has been pronounced to you. And He sets this before you. And He says “You know what? You’re still mine. Nobody can take you out of my hand. You’re still mine. Let me speak love to you, My love, your Father’s love, Your Father’s…our Father’s love. Let me speak it to you in broken bread and poured-out wine.”
Paul writes this…
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
I want to hearken back to our Gospel reading. Remember what Jesus says? ‘I am going to heal and cast out demons this day and the next. And the third day I will be glorified. I’m going to go to Jerusalem, because a prophet can’t die anyplace else.’ Jesus walks a narrow path…so you can have a narrow path to walk on.