We’re continuing to get the house unpacked and tonight I installed a gate in the utility room for Lexie so she is confined when we are away. Not that we don’t want her to have the run of the house, but the truth of the matter is that she can get into trouble when she has too much latitude and is left to her own devices. Our last home had two different gates – a wider gate to the lower level and a narrow gate that allowed Lexie up into my office. Once she was up there, she knew that she would have to behave or she would have to leave. And even though the gate wasn’t necessarily high, she has never tried to jump the fence or go through anything other than the approved opening when I held the door for her.
Now I know that this sounds like quite a bit of detail for a gate, but it’s important to tonight’s story. In many of the ancient cities there were several gates – and each one had a purpose. In fact, back in the time of Nehemiah, there were ten gates into the city of Jerusalem. They were the Fish Gate, Sheep Gate, Inspection Gate, East Gate, Horse Gate, Water Gate, Fountain Gate, Dung Gate, the Valley Gate and the Old Gate. Each entrance had a purpose and the Scripture is quite definite on this point.
Today, God kind of does the same thing with us – He admonishes us to use the narrow gate. Maybe because that is the one less travelled. After all, almost everyone flocks to the wide gate – it’s easier to get through that way – but that’s not what God tells his followers. We are to choose the other gate – the one harder to find – the narrow gate. Our verse for this evening is from Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Many theologians believe the reference to the two gates has to do with being headed for either heaven or hell. The road through the wide gate represents the lusts of the world and the sins that we are all prone to commit. On the other hand, the narrow gate represents more discipline and the road to eternal life. Matthew Henry, in his commentary on the passage, tells us that choosing the narrow gate is the tougher decision – especially when most people want to go through the wide gate. And let’s face it, most of us tend to go with the crowd. Christ challenges us to think beyond the obvious.
My encouragement this evening is that you have a choice as to which gate you will head through. My prayer is that you will honor the Father and take the road less travelled. Because that’s the gate that leads to eternal life and an incredible journey with God Himself. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…