Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
Jesus shifts gears away from the judging issue to a description of two gates-the narrow gate and the wide gate. Jesus puts it this way: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
NOTE the narrow gate is small and therefore difficult to go through and the wide gate is wide and therefore easy to go through. NOTE also that Jesus begins with the command urging us to enter in through the narrow gate. Remember, the entire Sermon on the Mount is answering the question, “How does your teaching differ from what we’ve been taught, Jesus?” His answer here is that to follow him and his teaching will be difficult, but will lead to life. To choose not to follow him and his teaching will be the easiest thing to do, because the masses are going in that direction. Don’t follow the crowd. Follow Jesus!
So much is made of the narrow gate being so narrow that only a few find it. I have a little different take on this imagery of the narrow and wide gates. I see it as Jesus making a very important point of how people authentically embrace life rather than destruction.
Think of it this way. When you are going along with the crowd-even a good crowd, it’s so easy to pass up personal participation. But when you are within the context of the few, participation is required and it is very easy to tell whether or not someone really gets it. Jesus came to launch a dynamic movement-a few here and a few there, gathering together in his name. This is where he promised to show up-where two or three are gathered together. And when Jesus shows up among the gathering of the few, he changes lives dramatically and authentically. This is vital! The church of Jesus is all about transformation and that transformation that leads to life happens within a “narrow” space where you will experience the life of Jesus within the context of a relational few.
Jesus was into the power of the few! Instead of going on CNN and seeking to produce mass seminars, mailers and email blasts, Jesus sought out three religious rejects to come and be with him. And, from this relationship with the three, then the twelve and the seventy-two, the Jesus movement rippled throughout the world and the revolution is still on today!
We are seeing this play out in our ministry. We are focusing on the few and as those few really get it, the message of Jesus spreads like a wildfire. You see, within the context of the few, you are able to really get to know one another and put the principles and teachings into practice. This kind of experience is the taste of reality everyone is longing for. This is the Jesus movement at its best!
Jesus taught: “Where two or three are gathered together in His name, He will show up.” This is what we want. This is what we desperately need. SECRET #37: The follower of Jesus will find himself walking with a few.