What Jesus Did! 'The Less Taken Way' — Matthew 7:13-14

Monday, March 27, 2017

"Enter through the narrow gate {that opens the way to heaven}. The road that leads to hell is a very easy road. And the gate to hell is very wide. Many people enter that gate. But the gate that opens the way to {true} life is very small. And the road to {true} life is very difficult (hard). Only a few people find that road."
— Matthew 7:13-14
Illustration of Matthew 7:13-14 — "Enter through the narrow gate {that opens the way to heaven}."

Key Thought

Limits, restrictions, rules and judgment—these are the "cuss words" of modern society. The world around us responds, "We don't like them; we don't want them. We are going to criticize anyone who believes in them." So almost no one talks about these words. When someone does, there is an immediate backlash of criticism. But the bottom line is simply this: when left to our own way, the way of our own choosing, we nearly always end up at war with others or create a mess of things. Most people walk down that big wide road without ever even thinking about it. But, with no set of sure values, no real sense of right and wrong, and no understanding of our need for redemption, the wide road's destination is always disaster. Jesus challenges his disciples and also challenges us. He wants us to walk down the less taken path. Yes, it's a harder path to travel, but it brings ultimate liberation and victory. We know, because he's already walked that path before us!

Today's Prayer

Righteous and Holy God, give me strength this day that I may walk your straight path and not be led astray by the masses that refuse to hear your voice or live according to your will. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

"Enter through the narrow gate {that opens the way to heaven}. The road that leads to hell is a very easy road. And the gate to hell is very wide. Many people enter that gate. But the gate that opens the way to {true} life is very small. And the road to {true} life is very difficult (hard). Only a few people find that road. "Be careful of false prophets. They come to you and look {gentle} like sheep. But they are really dangerous {like} wolves. You will know these people because of the things they do. Good things don't come from bad people, the same as grapes don't come from thorn bushes. And figs don't come from thorny weeds. In the same way, every good tree makes good fruit. And bad trees make bad fruit. A good tree cannot make bad fruit. And a bad tree cannot make good fruit. Every tree that does not make good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. You will know these false people by the fruit they make (things they do). "Not every person that says that I am his Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people that will enter the kingdom of heaven are those people that do the things that my Father in heaven wants. On the last day many people will say to me, 'You are our Lord! We spoke for you. And for you we forced out demons and did many miracles. ' Then I will tell those people clearly, 'Go away from me, you people that do wrong. I never knew you.' "Every person that hears these things I say and obeys is like a wise man. The wise man built his house on rock. It rained hard and the water rose. The winds blew and hit that house. But the house did not fall, because the house was built on rock. But the person that hears the things I teach and does not obey those things is like a foolish man. The foolish man built his house on sand. It rained hard, the water rose, and the winds blew and hit that house. And the house fell with a loud noise." When Jesus finished saying these things, the people were amazed at his teaching. Jesus did not teach like theirteachers of the law. Jesus taught like a person that had authority (power).

Matthew 7:13-29

Related Scripture Readings

Don't be fooled: "Bad friends will ruin good habits."

1 Corinthians 15:33

Now do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No! God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:10

"Not every person that says that I am his Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people that will enter the kingdom of heaven are those people that do the things that my Father in heaven wants. On the last day many people will say to me, 'You are our Lord! We spoke for you. And for you we forced out demons and did many miracles. ' Then I will tell those people clearly, 'Go away from me, you people that do wrong. I never knew you.'

Matthew 7:21-23

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.