The phrase “follow the narrow way” is fairly common. Especially so when conversation turns to the choice of a righteous or a dubious course of action.
The words themselves are attributed to Jesus. We find them in Matthew’s gospel as part of the sermon on the mount. But did Jesus actually mean what we think He meant? Is the way really narrow?
The section of the sermon where these words appear lends itself to easy imagery. Jesus paints a picture of a gate; in fact a couple of gates and then two contrasting paths. Take one route and the result is life. Take the other and destruction is at the end.
Most followers of Jesus are likely to have one of two common images in their mind when they hear these words. I suggest that neither of these images is helpful to a proper view of Jesus’ warning (Jesus gives four warnings involving image couplets at the end of his most famous sermon). Sure, Jesus describes the narrowness of a gate (himself) but when He speaks of the path ahead He most certainly isn’t interested in its width. No, the lesson He was teaching those first followers, and therefore us, was a little deeper than that.
To find out more, have a listen to my recent message (here it is) as part of newLife’s Masterclass series. You will need to take a glance at the images below to see exactly what I drew on a flipchart on the day.
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