Focal passage: Matthew 7:13-27
Over the past several weeks, I have spent hours researching used cars on the Internet. The time has come for me to replace my vehicle, and I am diligently exploring my options. Would I prefer a manual or automatic transmission? How important is the latest technology? What color shows the least amount of dirt? How much do I want to pay? And the list goes on …
It is amazing how much time and energy I have devoted to this decision. I realize my car choice will impact the next few years of my day-to-day life, and as a result, I want to be wise and informed.
Jesus asks his followers to make an important choice as well – not about which car (or donkey cart) to buy, but about which road to take.
“Enter through the narrow gate,” Jesus declares, explaining in Matthew 7:13-14 that we must choose between two gates and the paths beyond them. One gate is broad and wide, leading to a well-traveled path, yet this path ends in destruction. The second gate, the one commended by Jesus, is narrow, giving rise to a difficult path, but it “leads to life, and few find it” (Matthew 7:14).
This illustration reminds us that we must each make a deliberate choice to follow Jesus. Truly following the One who gave His life for us, surrendering our hopes and dreams to His Lordship, is like entering the narrow gate. It is rarely easy and can be difficult and lonely, but only on this difficult path will we ever find overflowing and abundant life.
I have invested innumerable hours in car research because I believe buying a vehicle is a significant decision. And yet, no matter what car I choose, in a few years it will be scratched up and outdated. The choice I make about my next car may be important, but it pales in comparison to the choice we must each make to follow Jesus. The choice of a new car may change my drive to work. The choice to follow Jesus will transform my eternity.