Scripture Reading — Matthew 7:13-14
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road ... to destruction." Matthew 7:13 —
Jesus is nearing the conclusion of his sermon about life in the kingdom of God. And now he calls his listeners to make a choice.
Jesus does this by telling three brief picture-stories--about two gates, two trees, and two foundations. Our reading for today focuses on the two gates.
Jesus declares that in order to be a child of God, a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, you must enter through the narrow gate.
A popular site in modern-day Bethlehem is the Church of the Nativity, built at the place where it is thought Jesus was born. This huge church has only one small entrance. In fact, you almost have to get on your hands and knees to enter the church through this small doorway. There is no room for excess baggage as you go through this gate.
The meaning of the one small entrance into that church is clear. There is only one gate by which you can enter the kingdom of God. In John 10:7-9, Jesus makes clear that he is the only gate to the sheepfold--he is the only way to heaven and to the gift of eternal life (see John 3:16; 14:6).
Jesus is calling you, and he wants you to live with him in heaven. Be sure to take way of the narrow gate rather than the way that leads to destruction.
Thank you, Father, for inviting us to enter by the narrow gate--to come into your kingdom through Jesus Christ. Teach us to trust Christ alone for salvation. In his name, Amen.