Sermon on the Mount

The Narrow Gate

This devotional is written by Emma Pritchard-Jones

Matthew 7:13-14

13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."


It's hard to think of anything more chaotic than Kings Cross or Victoria at 8.30am on
weekdays (those of us who do see 8.30am on a weekday anyway.) Having lived in London
for a long time, it’s a small victory to dodge the solid mass of people flowing towards the
Exit or Interchange signs, and instead follow a tiny passageway that only you, and a couple
of other long-term Londoners know will get you to your platform. What you're doing seems
counter-intuitive, but you know where you're going.
Jerusalem in Jesus's time had wide gates - heaving with the majority of people and animals
going in and out of the city, smelling far worse than even the Northern line - and a much less
popular narrow gate, with room for one person at a time to pass.
Surprisingly, most people liked to go in through the wide gate with the heaving masses. The
walls of the city would have been guarded and if you wanted to remain anonymous, there
was no chance of you staying that way walking through the narrow gate. You were going to
be recognised.
That narrow gate means there's only room to walk on one way to life - getting to know God
and waking with Him. You choose to let God know your face, you reject being unknown and
you allow God to look into your eyes. Jesus's contemporaries probably would have walked
in and out of the city every day - meaning every day they had a choice to make.
The wide gate might seem a much more attractive option - it's a much wider road, with
many more people, and seemingly many more interesting and distracting options - but
where's it actually going? There are better ways of getting to where you want to go.

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