(one of the most photographed gates ~ built in 1888 in St. Augustine, Florida)
We live in an age of mob mentality and contradictions. We, as a nation, cry out that all lives matter, which indeed they do, yet many will blindly follow a crowd by destroying and burning property and bringing harm to others. Women scream for the right to do what they want with their own bodies, but individualism in others is not valued. What I have noticed most in watching people on the news lately is that they are not thinking for themselves. It’s a crowd mentality, and we have a fear of being left out of the crowd. But Jesus warns us about being left out of the Kingdom. He says we should not go to the wide gate where lots of people travel. Find the narrow gate and the few, and there you will find life! You’ll recognize it by its fruit – love, joy, peace and goodness.
As I continue on my journey of reading through Jesus’ words in the New Testament, this next passage toward the end of the Sermon on the Mount is as timely and relevant today as it was when Jesus first spoke these words:
Matthew 7:13-23 ~ Enter through the narrow gate
The last part is one of the saddest statements Jesus makes. “On that day, many will cry out ‘Lord, Lord!’ It is one of those statements that I believe many people think it is meant for someone else and does not apply to them. But there are many people who like to play it safe just in case – one foot in, one foot out. Just enough church so they don’t go against God, but not enough to make a change in their lives. Sadly, I have some dear friends that fall into this category. They want to believe and probably do to some extent, but they don’t want to give up their lifestyle and make some hard choices. But we cannot live a life away from God and follow God at the same time. Jesus asks us to give up ourselves and follow Him, and it is by that change in our hearts and our thinking, that brings us to Jesus in a personal way. And on that day, Jesus will say, I have walked with you, and you with me. Come in!