“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13–14
Here in America we like options, I assume the rest of the world likes options too. The more options we have means we have more possibilities to choose from and I guess that makes us feel that we have a better hope of choosing what we really want or what will best meet our needs.
But do we really need an abundance of choices to ensure that our needs are meet and that we’ll be happy with the choice that we’ve made? I don’t think so. Whether we’re happy or not is only dependent upon our basic, most fundamental, needs being meet after that having more doesn’t add to our happiness.
When it comes to having a blessed life there are really only two choices.
There’s the choice Satan has been advocating for in which everyone gets to serve themselves and look out for only their own needs. This option, referred to by Jesus in our focus text as the broad way, is the one that offers the most options and therefore seems to be giving us the greatest opportunity for happiness and satisfaction. Jesus tells us that many are choosing this option. It’s an easy option to find and it’s popularity means that lots of people will understand and support your decision to choose this option. In our pluralistic world it’s become the norm to support any decision another makes regardless as to how harmful or directionless that choice may be.
Then there’s the choice Jesus is offering. “Come to me,” he says. “Learn from me,” he tells us. “I Am the way, the truth and the life. You won’t find salvation in any one else. You won’t find lasting peace and joy and love anywhere else. You can’t find life anywhere else and you can only keep that life by following me, by obeying me, and living like I live ”
Jesus’ choice doesn’t offer us very many options. That’s why he describes it as being both narrow and difficult. The life he’s calling us to is one that’s not in harmony with the life most others are choosing. There won’t be any room for compromise in our choice to follow Christ, like there is when we choose to do whatever makes us most happy. People won’t always understand and they’ll think it’s we who are being difficult when in reality the difficultly lies in the path and the fact that it’s leading us away from sin and death and into life and righteousness and Christ.
We like options and the the path of this world seems to be offering the most options but what our choices really comes down to is this, sin or righteousness, death or life, Satan or Christ.
From the outset Jesus has made it clear, if you choose him you choose life and that means you’ll have to learn to do things his way, and he promises that this will bring lasting joy and happiness. In the end you don’t need lots of options you just need what is right. You need Christ.