And He (Jesus) went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then said one unto Him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But He shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last. (Luke 13:22-30)
In this passage we learn:
- Enter in at the strait gate.
- We are told that many will be trying to get in but they won’t be able too.
- We are told that at some point the gate or door will be closed.
- There will be people on the outside pleading with the Lord to let them in.
- And last, there will be many who come from the north, the south, the east and, the west to enter the kingdom. Some who were last will be first and those who are first will be last.
In Matt chapter 7 Jesus explains that the strait gate is a narrow way that leads to life and that very few will find it.
When the Israelites were brought out of Egypt God gave them His law, which would ensure their survival in the land that the He had given them. His instructions were pretty simple. Obey God’s law and live a long time in the land or, disobey God’s law and bring curses upon themselves and the nation, and be removed from the land, just like the nations God had removed before Israel. He gave them one thing to do, obey His law.
When the Messiah came he taught the Torah, God’s law, and, He taught that men should obey God’s law. In one of His parables, Yeshua says that a man who hears His sayings and does them is like a wise man that builds his house on a rock. And when the rain, and floods, and high winds beat against the house it does not fall, because it is built upon a rock, a solid foundation. Then Yeshua says that that the man who hears his sayings and does not do them is like a foolish man that builds his house on the sand. The house is not able to stand against the rain, the floods, and the high winds. It falls because there is no solid foundation. So again life depends on whether or not we follow God’s law.
The “straight and narrow” way seems to indicate that there is a particular way that leads to life, God, and His kingdom. And that way is the way is found in God’s law. The way of life will not be found in the Koran or the teachings of Buddha. It will not be found in the teachings of the new age movement. It will not be found in any of the teachings of man. There is only one place that you can find the way to life and it is God inspired Word, the Torah, His law.
God’s law leads us to His Messiah, Yeshua. It is called the narrow way because it points to the only One who was able to keep God’s law perfectly. John 3:16 says,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Yeshua himself says,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
Yeshua was sent by the Father take away the sin of the world but, many are trying to enter in through other ways and they will not be able too. Yeshua calls them “workers of iniquity.”
People who choose to live a life outside of God’s laws believe that there are many ways to God. Some even believe there is more than one God. To live outside God’s law is to choose to be ignorant. Yet, there is something inside you that tells you that you are on the wrong path. You replace truth with something else that you believe is easier. Romans 1:25 says that the truth of God was exchanged for a lie, and, that instead of worshipping God the Creator, who is blessed forever, men chose to worship what was created.
We try to bypass God’s law in an effort to bypass the fact that we will one day have to stand before God and give an account for what you have done in this life. We essentially create our own god, one that we can control. We can even dress him up so that he looks like the God that requires us to follow His laws. We can even call our god by the same name, lord, or Jesus, but as long as we are not following the law of the One Way God, we are following one of the many ways that lead to destruction. Jesus says again in Matt 7:13, “..for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”
Sometimes we can give the appearance of being on the narrow way also. In Matt 7:21-23 Yeshua says,
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
In the New King James version verse, 23 says,
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.”
We can call out lord, lord, and cast out demons, and do many good works but unless Yeshua knows us we are lost. How can we be sure that we are on the right path and that He knows us? Again, John says,
“whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
God wants us to trust in the Messiah, Yeshua. He is the Word of God who was in the beginning with God. He is God perfect sacrifice that takes away our sin. It is by putting our trust in Him that we can be sure that He knows us. And it is through Him that we can know God. He is God’s word, the living Torah. Without Him we are lawless. With Him and in Him we have the law of God living on the inside of us. If we are in Him and He in us we never have to worry about hearing,
“I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.”
Yeshua said that one day the master of the house would get up and close the door. It will then be too late to reverse the way you have chosen to live your life. Yeshua says that outside the door, “..Will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.”
God has always given man a free will. We are not forced to follow God’s law if we don’t want to. If we want we have the option to choose our own ways. We can choose to ignore the way that God says will lead to life. We can do whatever we want. However, God’s word says that “..each of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)
When the door is close there will be multitudes of people outside who did not heed the instructions laid out in God’s Law. Outside the ark were a multitude of people who apparently disregarded what Noah said about the rain and the floods coming. And those outside the living Torah, the living Ark, will be lost when the door is shut. Once the door closes it will be too late. The Lord will say to those people,
“I tell you, I know you, not where you are from. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:27).
Yeshua says that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets will be in the kingdom. He says people will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. He says those who were first shall be last, and, the last shall be first. Many believers throughout the ages have faced persecution and death. I believe it was because they followed the narrow way. I also believe that our generation will also face persecutions and death because of the narrow way. In fact, believers around the world who are outnumbered by Islam and other religious beliefs are paying a heavy price for their faith. They are seen as not even second-class citizens. They are last in a world that refuses to accept the truth. So far, here in our country, we only face being called narrow-minded bigots. Compared to those around the world who are dying for their faith you could say we are first. I am not sure what Yeshua means by this but I will be satisfied if I am one of the last, as long as it is in His Kingdom. However, I do believe Christians in our country will face many of the same dangers as the rest of the Body of Christ has in other parts of the world.
Yeshua says, “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matt 7:14) Sometimes to hold on to life we have to give it up. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:35 I am not sure Yeshua was talking about actually losing your life for the sake of the gospel at the time he said this but, it is clear from many of the prophecies and history that it is sometimes necessary. Trusting the Lord isn’t always easy, but it is always the right way. At times it seems the cost is high, but no one has paid a higher price than our Lord and Savior for this narrow way.