Wide and Narrow Way


On my run this morning, I listened to a podcast sermon by Timothy Keller, and he made an interesting point on the wide and narrow way. Toward the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus states,

13 Enter by the narrow gate. Fore the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few (Matthew 7:13-14).

I’ve always interpreted the two ways in the following manner. The narrow way is the way of discipleship and the wide way is traveled by those who reject God.  Those on the narrow way follow God and those on the wide way are not interested in God.

Keller noted that this passage serves as some of the concluding remarks of the sermon and is consistent with its message (novel idea I know). The sermon contrasts the righteousness of the Pharisees with the righteousness found in Christ. This means that the broad way is not traveled by the irreligious, but the religious who serve for themselves. They live in pride and seek to justify themselves by their good deeds. In contrast, the narrow way are those who rely upon God’s grace as a means for justification and respond with the discipleship of gratitude.

I’ll have to think about it some more, but it makes sense that this passage of contrasting ways would continue the theme of the sermon.

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3 Responses to Wide and Narrow Way

  1. Rob Sparks says:

    I laughed a little when you pointed out your “novel idea.” You gotta lot of nerve, letting context determine meaning! 🙂 Thanks, Jeremy.

  2. Nelima says:

    Jeremy, I had a similar reaction to a different Keller sermon. The contrast between the two righteousnesses had never occurred to me either.

  3. Beth says:

    Thank you for the post. This is something that I need to consider, and I appreciate your sharing your thoughts.

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