“Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 7:14 But the gate is narrow, and the way is difficult that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
In a previous post, I touched upon the topic of the “narrow gate”, but I feel it needs to be expanded further. Some things we will discuss I have stated before – but this is such an important topic it deserves greater attention. Of greatest interest in the last thought of these passages: “…and there are few that find it…” This small phrase should jerk us up and give us pause. Contained within it there are some questions that beg to be asked, such as:
What does Messiah mean by these words?
How narrow is the gate?
And this difficult way, the one that leads to life, how do we know we are on it?
As part of the “Sermon on the Mount”, most people when they read this passage tend to skim right over it, with barely a second thought.
“Well,” they might say, “ that does not apply to me, because I am a believer! Those folks on the broad path, they do not believe or perhaps, they are misled!”
But is this an accurate interpretation of this passage? Does just being a believer put you on the narrow path? Take a look and see, for just 7 verses down from our lead in, are these words:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 7:22 On that day, many will say to me,
‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ 7:23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’ ()
If verses 21-23 are true and those that are calling Yeshua “Lord, Lord” must, by the evidence provided, be considered believers; if this is truly the case, then it has to be said that being a believer isn’t enough – neither is the working of miracles or signs and wonders; so what is it that puts one on the narrow road, the strait gate, the difficult path?
Just what does it mean to enter through the “narrow gate”?
We have covered ways to study the Word of God before, and I’ll cover this new method in depth in a bit, but one way is too look and see if there are other passages the speak of the topic we are studying, for example, “gate”, “way” and “life” . Are there any other Scriptures in which Yeshua mentions these words?
Let us look at “gate”...
John 10:7 So again Jesus said, “Truly, truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and bandits, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture.1
In other versions, the word used for gate θύρα thura is translated as “door”, but if you understand the customs and times of Yeshua’s day, “gate” is a more accurate translation.
Figure 1 A simple improvised sheepfold.
Such is sometimes made by the shepherd when he is a distance from his home, or especially when he may be in the territory of mountains. It is a temporary affair that can be taken down easily when it comes time to move on to another location. A fence is built of tangled thorn bushes or rude bowers. This is all the protection that is needed, as the shepherds often sleep with their flocks when the weather permits. Ezekiel mentions such a sheepfold when he predicts the future of Israel: "I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be" (Ezekiel 34:14). [Manners and Customs of Bible Lands]
There would be an opening in this improvised “keep” or sheep fold that the shepherd would sit or lay down in to protect the sheep from any predator that tried to get into them; thus, he would be the “gate”. This is the reference Yeshua was making, one that His audience would surly understand.
Notice that twice He says that He is the gate. Let us then begin here; Yeshua is the gate, the narrow gate that leads to life; for proof we look to see where does Yeshua say He is the life?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
So, the gate equals life, and Yeshua says He is the life. The Scriptures say that He is also the Word. Look at John 1:14:
14 The Word became flesh
and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
It stands to reason then that Yeshua is the Word of God, who is the gate, which leads to life; it can then be said that the Word is the narrow gate that leads to life.
What then is “the Word of God”?
We need to understand what John meant when he penned the phrase “the Word”. I have a definition, you probably have a definition, but since John 1:14 gives us the true definition of who Yeshua is, (and likewise we can also refer back to John 1:1), then if we understand John’s use of “the Word”, we will understand the gate better.
John uses the Greek word “λόγος” or Logos; this is also the same word used in Luke’s gospel.
In Luke 8:5-8, Yeshua is telling the Parable of what is commonly called the “sowers”, but is more correctly to be understood as the Parable of the Hearers…
“The sower went out to sow his seed, and while he was sowing, ⌊some seed⌋ fell on the side of the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the sky devoured it. 6 And other seed fell on the rock, and when it came up, it withered, because it did not have moisture. 7 And other seed fell in the midst of the thorn plants, and the thorn plants grew up with it and choked it. 8 And other seed fell on the good soil, and when it came up, it produced a hundred times as much grain.” As he said these things, he called out, “The one who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Three verses later Yeshua explains this parable to His disciples:
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit lwith patience.
Luke uses λόγος” or Logos also. In James 1:21, we see the same Greek word used by John and Luke…
21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
Yeshua said the seed was “the word of God”, and those that hear it are on a path; John says the “Word” was made flesh, full of grace and truth… James says that the “word” when implanted can save souls. In the ancient Jewish texts, there are parallels to the “Word”, the “Logos”. Most of them are found in what is called the Targums. “…The Targums were authoritative Aramaic paraphrases of the books of the Tanakh which were read in the synagogues along with the Hebrew of the Torah and Haftorah readings. Often when the Targums come to passages where YHVH is anthropomorphized or seen, or where two or more YHVHs are indicated by the text, the Targums will substitute "The MEMRA [Memra] of YHVH" for YHVH…”
The MEMRA was thought to be the physical manifestation of a Spirit God, for the Scriptures say that God is a Spirit and that no man may see Him (Deut 4:12; Exo 33:18-23; 1 Tim 1:17; John 4:24; John 1:18). This invisible God had to have a presence, because He walked with Adam in the garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8); wrestled with Jacob (Gen 32:24-30); and ate with Abraham (Gen 18:1-8). Because of these manifestations, the sages came to understand that the MEMRA, or the WORD of God was this physical presence and they would later come to understand the MEMRA’s connection to the Messiah.
The Targum also mentions that the MEMRA was the Savior: “…But Israel shall be saved by the MEMRA of YHVH with an everlasting salvation By the MEMRA of YHVH shall all the seed of Israel be justified…”
Thus, the “Logos”, the MEMRA, the “Word” can save. Again, look at James 1:21:
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness
the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
The engrafted or implanted word is able to save. Go one verse more and see James 1:22:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says…
Here is one key to unlocking the mystery of the narrow gate: do what it says… Obedience.
Back to the parable of the hearers. What are we to do with this word that is planted within us? Yeshua gives us a clue in Luke 8:20-21…
20 Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside. They want to see you.”
21 He answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear and do what God’s word says.”
Same answer we got from James. Yeshua repeats this again in Luke 11:27-28…
27 While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.”
28 But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
The Greek word translated here as “observe” means to “guard, to maintain, to obey”. The King James Version translates it as “keep”, but when you dig into the literal translation of the word, it implies the meaning of “to guard, or keep for one’s own safety” so as not “to violate or disobey”; the object being to observe, to protect the precepts of God’s word.
The above examples are good illustrations of what I told you earlier, how to study the word. To seek out verses or passages that have been said the same thing before, or are plainly alluded to in the Word, will give you an accurate means of correctly interpreting the text. Some examples are tying in the message of Revelation to the Tanakh such as Revelation 3:17 ties in with Hosea 12:8; Ezekiel 21:25-27 ties in with Psalms 110:1, Gen 49:10 and Mark 16:19… These are but a few examples that you can see the benefit in searching a matter out.
In keeping with that theme, what do we mean by words like “precepts”? Look at 1 Kings 2:3:
3 And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn;
Here, “keep” has the meaning of “exercising great care over” the things of God:
To Walk in His Ways = which are the why/depth of God’s character
His Statutes = instructions that are to be followed “just because” He said so
His Commandments = are His specific tasks for us; also known as good deeds or “good works”
His Judgments = these are “legal” enactments; also referred to as Ordinances
His Testimonies = those things that serve as a witness or give evidence of the truth of God’s words or actions
Defining God’s precepts is a bit more complicated as the translators of the King James version translated three different words as “precepts”.
In Isa 28:10 (among others) the word translated as precept is the Hebrew word ‘tsav’ which can mean an “instruction” or “to be enjoined or commanded”…
Isa 29:13, quoted by Yeshua in Matt 15:7-9 – the word used here also implies “commandment” but has a deeper meaning of “judgment”, though not necessarily divine; that is man-made. While the word is translated as “mitzvah” in Strong’s, the spelling in the Hebrew suggests it is pronounced “mitzsaw” as if Isaiah and Yeshua used this particular word as a means to “ridicule” the doctrines and commandments of men.
The final word translated as “precept” is found in Psalms 119:4 (and other places). It is the Hebrew word ‘pik-kood’ which when properly translated is only used to denote a God mandated or appointed law – for example like the 10 devarim, the 10 words or as we know them, the 10 Commandments.
In the Messianic Writings, the word precept (such as in Heb 9:19) would accurately translate as “direction”, “instruction” or even “commandment”.
While it is important to know how the words are used or which words are used etc., what we can deduct from this is that God’s precepts can safely be interpreted as being His commands, His instructions or His directions for us to follow.
This further helps us to define the “narrow path or gate”…
Let us go on.
We see by the last examples that the ways of God are:
And that His precepts are His instructions and directions.
And where do we find all these things? In the “Logos” or the Word of God. And What is the Word?
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. ()
2The same was in the beginning with God.
Which One? The Word…
John 1:14 – and the Word became flesh…
Now there are some who want to wrest Scripture and say that the word of God has nothing to do with the law of God; but Yeshua himself makes it plain that this cannot be the case:
He answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: These people honor Me with their lips,
but their heart is far from Me.
7 They worship Me in vain,
teaching as doctrines the commands of men. 8 Disregarding the command of God, you keep the tradition of men.” 9 He also said to them, “You completely invalidate God’s command in order to maintain your tradition! 10 For Moses said: Honor your father and your mother; and Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death. 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or mother: Whatever benefit you might have received from me is Corban’ ” (that is, a gift ⌊committed to the temple⌋), 12 “you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13 You revoke God’s word [logos] by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many other similar things.”
Yeshua here links the Logos with the commands of God.
Shimon Kefa, (Peter), calls the word (logos) living and enduring in 1 Peter 1:23, and equates it with not only of being born again but also with the image used both by Yeshua and James as a seed, planted within:
23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word [logos] of God.
The author of Hebrews calls the logos living and active:
12 For the word [logos] of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart
Shimon Kefa defines the word again in 1 Peter 1:24-25, but with a critical twist…
1 Peter 1:24
All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like a flower of the grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls,
25 but the word [ῥῆμα Rhema- Phonetic: hray'-mah] of the Lord endures forever.
And this is the word [rhema] that was preached as the gospel to you.
Kefa is using a different word, rhema to describe the Word of God by quoting Isaiah. So, it must stand that in order to agree with what Kefa is trying to teach, then Isaiah had to regard the Law of God as the word of God. Taken in its context, from 1 Pet 1:23 where the Logos of God is said to be living and enduring, and in verse 25 where the rhema of God is said to be forever enduring, and is the rhema that was preached as gospel we must conclude that:
The Word [Logos] = The Word [Rhema]
For further proof, where else do we see the rhema used? We can find it in use by Rabbe Sha’ul [Paul] in Romans 10:8:
8 But what does it say? “he word [rhema] is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is,
the word [rhema]of faith which we are preaching,
Here Sha’ul is quoting the Torah:
No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
The word used in Hebrew is “dabar”, but in the Greek Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Tanakh, the Jewish translators used – you guessed it – the Greek word rhema.
The word is near so that one might obey it. And what is the word that we are to obey? The answer is to be found in the same section of Torah, Deut 30:15-16..
15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day
to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandment and his statutes
and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee
in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
Again, we see that what we are to walk in and obey are God’s:
All are given in His Word.
This is the same word [rhema] that Sha’ul preached in Rom. 10 and Kefa preached in 1 Peter1:25…
The Rhema is the Logos of God.
Look back again at John 1:1:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word [Logos] and the Word [Logos] was with God, and the Word [Logos] was God.
1 Peter 1:23 equates the Logos with the imperishable seed, the Logos of God, the same seed spoken of by Yeshua in the Parable of the Hearers. This same seed is
The Law [Torah] of God.
So now a quick review: what are we to do?
Enter through the narrow gate
The gate is Yeshua
Yeshua is the Word, the Logos of God
The Logos of God is the Law, the Torah of God
Thus, Yeshua must be, has to be the Living Torah, Yeshua HaTorah.
If we are to walk in the Way of God, who we see is the Logos, then we must see in Scripture that we are encouraged to do so.
1 Cor 11:1
Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
1 John 2:1-6
1 aMy little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. 3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
If we continue to go by the traditional “church” model, the one that insists that the law of God is done away with, we are then in essence saying that Yeshua has been done away with; on this one belief alone then we have chosen to take the broad path of destruction for we have traded the knowledge, truth and the commandments of God for the traditions of men. What does the Word say?
Pro 12: 28
In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway, there is no death.
The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn aside from the snares of death.
There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
Pro 14: 27
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.
Pro 16: 25
There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
Tell them: As I live”—the declaration of the Lord God—“I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked person should turn from his way and live. Repent, repent of your evil ways! Why will you die, house of Israel?
In John 14:6 Yeshua says that He is “the way, the truth and the life”…
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law [Torah] of the Lord.
Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law [Torah] is the truth.
The law [Torah] of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Keep my commandments, and live; And my law [Torah] as the apple of thine eye.
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law [Torah], Even his prayer shall be abomination.
This “way, truth and life” leads us on the path of righteousness:
Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, The people in whose heart is my law [Torah]; Fear ye not the reproach of men, Neither be ye afraid of their reviling’s.
But there are those who…
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear: 2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness. 4 No one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity. 5 They hatch adders’ eggs; they weave the spider’s web; he who eats their eggs dies, and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched. 6 Their webs will not serve as clothing; men will not cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. 7Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways. 8 The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace. 9 Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. 10 We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men. 11 We all growl like bears; we moan and moan like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. 12 For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: 13 transgressing, and denying the Lord, and turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words. 14 Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. 15 Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. 17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. 18 According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render repayment. 19 So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives. 20 “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord. 21 “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.”
These walk the broad way:
Then you will know that I sent this commandment to you so that my covenant6 may continue to be with Levi,” says the Lord who rules overall. 2:5 “My covenant with him was designed to bring life and peace. I gave its statutes to him to fill him with awe, and he indeed revered me and stood in awe before me. 2:6 He taught what was true;7 sinful words were not found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and integrity, and he turned many people away from sin. 2:7 For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge of sacred things, and people should seek instruction from him8 because he is the messenger of the Lord who rules overall. 2:8 You, however, have turned from the way. You have caused many to violate the law;9 you have corrupted the covenant with Levi,”10 says the Lord who rules overall. 2:9 “Therefore, I have caused you to be ignored and belittled before all people to the extent to which you are not following after me and are showing partiality in your11 instruction.”
But those who delight in God:
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; And in his law doth he meditate day and night.
O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
So, shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. 45And I will walk at liberty: For I seek thy precepts.
We are to meditate on Torah, look at Torah, listen to Torah, walk, seek and delight in the Torah – and put it on our heart. For what is Torah but Yeshua? Torah/Yeshua is the narrow Gate, and few there are that want to find it, for they say that is hard. Yet what did God say about it?
The Blessing of Returning to God
30 “Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. 5 Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. 6 And ithe Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
7 “Also the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. And you will again obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments which I command you today. 9 The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, 10 if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. 15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
To follow Yeshua means you will walk the narrow path, the path of obedience for this is the only way that we can show God we love Him.
5 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— 1our faith.
The sad truth is this: broad is the path that leads to destruction, and narrow is the path to life: few will find it. Notice this: if does not say few are looking; it says few will find. There are a whole lot of lookers out there, searching for the right path to take – but what they find instead of the narrow path is the broad way – smooth, packed down by many feet and few obstacles in the way. On both sides of this path are bright lights, glittering houses filled with easy empty words and little call for the repentance needed to profoundly change lives and hearts. Most find their place on this path because it fits what they want to do and what they want to believe, the traditions and doctrines of men, not the t’shuvah demanded by the eternal Word of God, the Logos. The path they are on is filled with all they want, except that which they need: Truth.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; vdepart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Verse 23 has been translated different ways:
(ASV) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
(BBE) And then will I say to them, I never had knowledge of you: go from me, you workers of evil.
(CEV) But I will tell them, "I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!"
(CJB) Then I will tell them to their faces, 'I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!'
(DRB) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
(ERV) Then I will tell those people clearly, 'Get away from me, you people who do wrong. I never knew you.'
Yet the phrase in Greek “…ergazomemoi en anomian…” literally means “…you who work lawlessness…” or “…workers of lawlessness…”, i.e. those without the Law – no Torah. Those who won’t follow the Law won’t be allowed through the gate. What we believe is important; how we walk is just as important. Obedience is the narrow path, a path small, overgrown for lack of those who walk it, thorns on both sides, a path that requires effort to walk. This is the path God called the old path…
Disaster because of Disobedience
16 This is what the Lord says: Stand by the roadways and look.
Ask about the ancient paths:
Which is the way to what is good? Then take it and find rest for yourselves. u but they protested, “We won’t!”
This ancient path is the one He set before us in His infinite wisdom, mercy and grace, a path of peace, liberty, and righteousness. When we walk away from or out of this path – we walk unto ourselves and tell the King of Creation, our Father, that we know better than Him. The Law, the Torah, was given to us as a guide to know how to live our lives. But be forewarned: if you will take this path you will be persecuted. In Matt 7:14 the very word used for “narrow” is the Greek word “thlibo [thlee'-bo]” and it means to be “pressed upon”, to “compress”, to be “troubled, afflicted and in distress”; it means to “crush, oppress”.
Paul warns us:
2 Tim 3:12
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
It is small wonder that most choose the broad way, with its promises of “your best life now” or “name it and claim it”. Most want their ears tickled as it says in 2 Tim 4:1-5:
4 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. 4 They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
And most preachers do so, but I think they do so unknowingly – it is just what they themselves have been taught.
So – the question. The broad way or the narrow way? Which do you choose?
The choice is yours.
31:33 “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel74 after I plant them back in the land,”75 says the Lord.76 “I will77 put my law within them78 and write it on their hearts and minds.79 I will be their God and they will be my people.80
God says He will put His Word in our minds and in our hearts…
I guess all that it takes to be on the narrow path
Is to be narrow minded.
May God Richly bless you all, my beloved, Amein.