The Narrow Gate

by Scarlett Stough

Jesus exhorts, “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).

Luke's gospel expands on the setting of this teaching. People were asking him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” (Luke 13:23). Jesus did not answer directly, but explained why they should “make every effort to enter through the narrow door.*”

Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' “But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from… Away from me, all you evildoers!' “
Luke 13:25, 27

John's gospel gives us more information about this door/gate. Jesus declared: “I am the gate** ; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture” (John 10:9).

Jesus referred to himself as The Good Shepherd and those who believed and followed him as his sheep. His Jewish audience would have known he was referring to Psalm 23. Some people are insulted by being called “sheep.” God made us “in his image” so he hardly meant an insult; the sheep comparison is meant only to use the care a shepherd would take of his valuable flock to illustrate how valuable we are to God.

Jesus as “the Gate” protects us from being destroyed spiritually; through Jesus as “the Gate” we have access to eternal life and are saved from eternal death.

*The word “gate” from “pule” [4439 Strong's Concordance] can also be translated “door.” The word “door” in Luke 13:25 is also “pule.”

**The word “gate” [NIV] in John 10 is translated from “thura” (2374) which can also be translated “door.”