The gate to God’s kingdom is narrow; does this mean that God is narrow-minded? The highway to hell is broad; does this mean that hell’s inhabitants are broadminded? Is Lucifer tolerant and accepting of you and me because he lets us travel down a six-lane freeway uninhibited, while God seemingly hasn’t upgraded heaven’s accessibility by holding on to an antiquated little gate that people have to pass through? Not only do we have to deal with a narrow gate, but also with difficult road conditions … does this mean that God doesn’t want us in Heaven in the first place?
If something in the Bible rubs me the wrong way this usually piques my interest. It makes me curious, and I want to dig deeper. Nothing is what it seems – especially when it comes to God – and knowing that God has the biggest heart and the sharpest mind, there is no way that He could be narrow-minded. So, what is up with this narrow gate and the bumpy road leading up to it? Does God just have a weird sense of humor? And is Lucifer being hospitable having a broad freeway leading to his hellish home? I believe we get the point when we not only look at the road but also consider its destination.
The comparison between the two roads is a comparison of lifestyles, which Jesus is pointing out in His Sermon on the Mount. According to Matthew’s gospel, Jesus opened up His sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes. (Matthew 5:3):
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” * Bible Version: New Living Translation
People who know that they are poor without God, Jesus calls them blessed. Knowing that we need God gives us direction. Not knowing that we need God makes us drifters. It does not really matter where we go when we do not follow the Lord. We will eventually drift into all kinds of different directions. Separated from God, we are on the aforementioned broad highway. Highway traffic does not necessarily equal an easy ride. It may very well be that we get stuck along the way. We may bump into each other causing accidents. There is road rage. Highway to hell is not as pleasant a road trip after all, hopefully to a point that some travelers second-guess their initial decision, abandon their car wreck and look for that unassuming bumpy road leading to an unassuming little gate where they receive a hearty welcome.
I have been on this bumpy road for a number of years and can say that God has never let me down. Walking with God is the most rewarding experience I know. Forget about road conditions! God with us, Immanuel, makes everything worthwhile.
Who knows – maybe the narrow gate’s purpose is to accommodate for a personal embrace. This little gate opens up to one person at a time. Welcomed by the Savior of the whole world, we peek over His shoulder and see the big crowd who preceded our homecoming. Everybody in that crowd passed through that narrow gate, right into the arms of Jesus.