Matthew 7:13-14; Two Paths

It’s still about the kingdom. You get the sense Jesus is winding down his sermon and giving some illustrations.

The invitation to enter the kingdom is a little bit discouraging. Most people are taking the wide road, the easy road, but it doesn’t lead to the kingdom. The wide road doesn’t deliver.

The narrow road is the road to life. But it is an arduous journey, a difficult hike. Jesus has already talked about the attitudes and actions that are required in the kingdom. The path he has laid out is not easy. It isn’t intuitive. Most people will miss it because they are not willing.

Even church people.

One wonders how many members in our churches today assume that they are saved when in fact they treat Jesus’ teachings lightly—people who give no thought to their temper, their mental chastity, their integrity and so forth during the week (compare 5:21–48), then pretend to be religious or even spiritually gifted in church. Do we have the courage to communicate Jesus’ message as clearly as he meant it to be conveyed, to warn ourselves and others that it is possible for people to assume they are saved and yet be damned? Some texts in the Bible provide assurance to suffering Christians that the kingdom is theirs; this text challenges “cultural Christians,” those following only Christian tradition rather than Christ himself, to realize that they need conversion.

Craig S. Keener, Matthew, vol. 1, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997), Mt 7:13.

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