“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14
The most familiar passage of scripture that compares narrow to wide is the quotation Jesus used to describe the entrance to life. Jesus may be pointing out that the way your life may not be pointed at the narrow gate. Normally people take the shortest route where they are going, but in this case Jesus Christ also symbolically represents the gate that leads to life. (John 10:9) Still the shortest route (way) to anyplace is in a straight line especially when we look at the narrow gate. In this comparison Jesus is saying that he is the gate to life and the only access to the father (John 14:6.) Jesus is putting more emphasis on where the roads take you and that only a few take that road.
Jesus is making the effort to tell you the wide road has no limits or restrictions to arrive at its destination of destruction. However, if you want live the entrance is through a narrow gate that is only found in Jesus Christ. The road to life has been narrowed down to one person who is waiting with open arms.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
The only way into the kingdom of God is to accept Jesus Christ as Lord. There is no exception, and that alone makes the gateway to eternal life narrow. You cannot find eternal by being an exceptionally moral person or by being good all your life. You will only find eternal life after going through the high priest who mediates for God and his people. Only through the name of Jesus Christ you will be saved from the coming wrath of God and be welcomed into the kingdom of God.
Strait and narrow are also nautical terms that refer to shipping lanes between Islands and others forms of the sea. This term pertains to the unseen conditions beneath the surface of the ocean or sea such as water depth and sandbars. These conditions obstruct and restrict the shipping lanes. Obstructions such as water depth funnel ships to points where it is safe to travel without the loss of ship or the souls onboard.
The road to the gate is filled with potholes we know as trials and tribulation. Satan uses the trials and tribulation of life to cause you to veer to the right or the left steering you away from the gate that leads to life. God will help you to go through the trials and tribulation of life So you may stay on the road to life. Such is the case of Balaam when he met the angel of the Lord in a narrow place.
Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. Numbers 22:26
The angel chose this narrow place because it gave him the ability to complete the mission God sent him for. However, God used this narrow place to open the eyes of his donkey and Balaam to see the angel poised to use his sword. God also used the donkey to warn Balaam about the situation facing him. Yet in this narrow place God confronted Balaam with a warning that asked him to consider what he was about to do.
Every Christian has a narrow place during his lifetime as he or she walks on this narrow road to eternal life. What made the road narrow are the trials and tribulation that demands that we veer to the right or to the left to avoid the evil Satan suggests will happen. Satan uses his skill of deception to ensure that we fail and find our faith in God shipwrecked and our stand with God faltering on the rocks. At the same time these trials and tribulations teach us to rely on God without deviating from his promises. His promises enable us to trust in God enough to persistently plow through the trial and remain on the road to life.
The picture of narrows and straits between islands give us an idea that there are hidden obstructions that cannot be seen in life. Another such picture is the roaring lion that stalks his prey with the intention of not being seen. When this lion is successful it means that he is headed back to his den to devour his lunch.
However there are other restrictions that we must deal with on that road to eternal life. God wants man to consider the restrictions that hinder safe passage into the kingdom of God. These restrictions limit our behavior to trust in God who strengthens his holy ones to deal with the problems of life. When the problems of life are confronted and dealt with they seldom come back, but more often the troubles we avoided return again to become another obstacle that we will overcome with God’s help. Our trust based on faith as God gives us the confidence to attack the problem rather than ignore them.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
When Jesus spoke of the wide road he was speaking of a different direction. A example to illustrate this point would be the road you take to go from Chicago to New York City? Taking any road eastward would take you closer to New York City, but unless you are on the right road you could end up at the Atlantic Ocean several miles away. In the same way, taking any road to the south may take you to the city of New Orleans. Therefore the road we take to a specific place depends on the use of maps, the human intellect and other guides that direct us to the right road. God gave us the directions to heaven, but it is up to man to choose the road he travels and the gate that leads to life.