Small gate; narrow road

(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch in his car.)


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

Many people say today they’ve been born again

Many people call Him “Lord” and say He is their friend

Thousands watch the preacher smiling on their TV screens

But when I hear the words of Jesus, I wonder what it means

Only a few enter the small gate

Only a few walk in the narrow way

Only a few taking the long road to life

Only a few hearing the Savior

Only a few doing His favor

Only a few changing the darkness to light

Many thought when Christ was here they were the holy ones

Many said they followed God but passed right by His Son

Is it any different now, are we so self-assured?

Do we come to Him for mercy and hunger for His word?

Am I trying to be self-righteous, am I trying to be cool?

Am I trying to scare you into thinking you’re some kind of fool?

If He said these words to you, He’s saying the same to me

I think we’d better consider what it has to be

Only a few enter the small gate

Only a few walk in the narrow way

Only a few taking the long road to life

Only a few hearing the Savior

Only a few doing His favor

Only a few changing the darkness to light                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     This song, written in the early 1980s, was my attempt to reconcile Matthew 7:13-14 with the Moral Majority, the Christian Coalition and the growing popularity of a Christian subculture. If a coalition of Christians helped elect the next U.S. president, how does that jive with Jesus saying only a few will find their way to Christ? What do you think it means that Jesus said only a few find that small gate to the narrow road? 

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3 Responses to Small gate; narrow road

  1. John Fagliano says:

    I think it means it is more common to sin in any given situation and doing what’s right is rare. This was certainly true in Jesus time. It’s very true in today’s world too. Even us Christians can forget often enough and when you add that to those who don’t know him you see the problem. Doing what’s right is rare in any culture.

    I don’t think it means only a few will be with him in eternity. If that were the case he would be admitting failure right from the start. Why would he give the great commission for only a few? He said if he is lifted up on the cross he will draw all to himself. He is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, not just a few in the world. If most people are traveling a road that leads to destruction they are not doomed to stay there forever.

  2. peter leenheer says:

    It seems to me that many people are saved, and that is good enough for them. To actually become and desire to become like Jesus is rare. A few quotes below to illustrate the point and to answer the question, What do you think it means that Jesus said, only a few find that small gate and the narrow road?

    Surface change is often mistaken for deep change. When the medication of exciting worship, and inspiring preaching relieves the symptoms of sin, the need for the surgery of brokenness is no longer recognized.(66 Love letters, Larry Crabb, pg.175)

    We like it when God says things such as, “I will never leave you or forsake you…or I will bless your coming in and your going out, but boy do we bristle and fight back when God wants to make major changes in our lives.

    The way of Jesus has not been tried and found unfruitful. It has been found too difficult and left untried. (G. K. Chesterton)

    C.S. Lewis and The Problem of Pain are my favorites:.
    God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

    Suffering is God’s manure for spiritual growth.

    The root of pain is our disdain and lack of respect for God. God needs our pain and suffering to make us notice him.

    God gives us occasional happiness, some joy, but rarely ecstasy because if he gives settled happiness He knows we will not need him.

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