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SOTM #15-Narrow

October 16, 2010

We are approaching the end of Jesus’ Sermon On The Mount, and we’re reaching the conclusion now. As listeners we are being asked to make a choice, and Jesus in this passage boils it down to two ways…

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. (Matthew 7:13-14 TNIV)

The SOTM has been a study in contrasts: “the way of the world” up against “the way of the Kingdom (the way of Jesus)”. The former is a path to destruction, while the latter is the path to true life-even if it doesn’t look like it. In a way this text is kind of a summary of what the previous sections of the “sermon” have been about. Scot McKnight put it this way in a post on his blog, Jesus Creed:

to enter the narrow gate involves being with the blessed ones (poor, peacemakers, persecuted, etc), being salt and light consistently, following Jesus’ radical way about murder/anger, adultery/lust, divorce, truth-telling, mercy over revenge, loving enemies. And it involves doing good deeds for the right reasons; it involves pursuing the kingdom and God’s justice instead of fortunes and fame; and it involves not damning the others and trusting that God is good. That’s the narrow gate about which Jesus teaches. (“How Narrow Is That Gate?”, January 30, 2006)

The word “find” in v.14 is a present-active-participle (meaning it is an action that is happening or one that continues to happen). So we must be rid of the old “I’m saved and now on cruise control ’til heaven” idea. Finding the “narrow road” is a daily, continual practice (and we must not forget the grace of God that is available for when we screw up and when we repent; otherwise this “way” is impossible, if only relying on our own strength and power). Today I decided & desired to walk the “narrow road.” And tomorrow will be an opportunity to do the same. And Jesus will be forming me (and us) as a community as we seek this path.

In a sermon on this text I finished with a question: How do the spiritual practices we regularly participate in (corporate and personal) help us to “find” the “narrow road”?

May we continually find this “narrow” path of Jesus. May the power and guidance of the Spirit enable us to walk it. And may we know the extraordinary grace of God as we walk with God on this journey.

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