Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Yeshua contrasted the narrow path and small gate that leads to life against the wide road and expansive gate that leads to Gehenna—the place of punishment.
The Bible metaphorically depicts the commandments of God as a path through life. The Torah says, “You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live” (Deuteronomy 5:33). “Walk in the way of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous” (Proverbs 2:20). “He is on the path of life who heeds instruction” (Proverbs 10:17), and “the path of life leads upward for the wise that he may keep away from Sheol below” (Proverbs 15:24).
In these scriptures, “the way” to life follows a path of faith and obedience. Yeshua invoked the biblical path-metaphor when He said, “The way is narrow that leads to life.” The Sermon on the Mount provides Yeshua’s instructions for staying on the straight and narrow path to the kingdom. The Sermon on the Mount describes the righteousness that “surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees” without which “you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). Those who “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33), are following the narrow way that leads to the narrow entrance—the entrance to life. In this context, “life” means the resurrection from the dead, entrance to the kingdom of heaven (i.e., the Messianic Age), and ultimately eternal life in the World to Come.
This article originally appeared on First Fruits of Zion and is reposted with permission.