Thursday, April 21, 2011

The WIDE and Narrow Paths

"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."

Only a few find the road to life? Is this true?

The bible says that Jesus came so that we can one day leave this horrible world and spend eternity in heaven, that's why Jesus said he came... So we could go to heaven.

He said all you have to do is say a little prayer and as long you as you really meant it in that emotional moment, then you're good, you're in.

No, he didn't say any of that.

Jesus claims that he came to give people life, and life to the fullest. He came to tells us and show us how to live life in the best possible way. He came to save, not condemn (via Jesus).

He told those who were being oppressed by terrorist to NOT react in violence, but instead pray for good to come to them, to turn the other cheek when struck, and when forced to carry the pack of a Roman Soldier, to carry it an extra mile for them.

He told people to love their enemies and not only to love them, but to do good to them. Jesus said not to fear those who can kill you, but if you are going to fear anyone, fear God who is able to throw you into hades. But even God takes care of the birds and the flowers, so how much more will he take care of you. SO DO NOT BE AFRAID.

He taught that no one should worry about what they are going to eat or drink, but instead trust God for daily bread. He told the rich to sell everything and give it to the poor (which would make them poor).

He told a Pharisee, a religious leader, that he must rethink everything in order to enter into the kingdom.

He commanded not to judge or condemn one another, but to look at the speck in our own eye.

And he told his followers that if they were going to follow him, they might as well bring their execution stake with them (take up your cross and follow me) because they we're probably going to be killed.

But we live in a world that tells us to fight back, we have to respond in violence. We need to store up and hoard our possessions because gas is outrageous and the end is near. Our enemies deserve to die and if that means a few innocent lives are lost in the process then so be it.

We teach our kids not to take any crap and hit back. We hold weapon classes in our churches (yes, I googled it... And there are a lot of them) and preach condemnation at the end of every sermon because we might not have many converts if we don't.

We do and teach many things that lead to destruction, whether it is destruction within our own lives or those around us or on the other side of the world.

Most of us are very comfortable on that broad path, the one that leads to destruction, aren't we? Jesus' way, how he lived and what he taught, is hard and there are not many who are willing to enter through that narrow gate and travel down that narrow road.

I find myself on that broad path a lot, living in a way that insures my comfort and security at the expense of others.

But Jesus' way leads to life. It's selfless, sacrificial, and it's a better way to live. It may not be safe, secure, comfortable, or successful and many who actually have followed it have indeed been killed, but the Way ultimately brings abundant life to those who choose to follow it.

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