“But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:14 NLT)
Jesus IS the narrow way to life! Why? Because HE IS LIFE! In the writings of John in the New Testament, there are more than 75 references to the word “life,” most pointing to Jesus. For example, in 1 John 5:11-12 John writes: And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.”
A case could be made that every living creature on the planet is alive because of Jesus. How do I know that? Again, John 1:4 says: “The Word (Jesus) gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone.” We’ve done the Lord a disservice by believing and making others believe He needs us. He’s God. He needs nothing!
John Stonestreet wrote: “Christians often say, ‘I’ve invited Jesus into my life,’ but the reality is that Jesus invites us into His life. His purpose. His restoring work in the world He created. To this life, His Life, we are invited to join Him in the work of making all things new.”
Some believe we have to give up everything in order to follow Jesus. I choose to believe we only have to give up one thing – our life. Why would I believe that? What are you taking with you into eternity? The only thing we have to give to God is the only thing that will last forever – our soul, our eternal being. The rest is going to be burned up anyway.
How silly we are to hold on to that which is material, forfeiting that which is eternal. The early disciples responded to God’s invitation to drop whatever they were doing and follow Him. They wandered from village to village listening to Jesus teach and watching Him transform people’s lives. There were days they didn’t have enough food and they rarely knew where Jesus would lead them. But they followed anyway, and you and I are the better for it.
A. W. Tozer wrote: “God’s plan will continue on God’s schedule.” It did when Jesus was walking this earth and it does now, in preparation for the Lord’s return. The only question we have to answer, as it relates to Jesus, is – do we want life or some imitation?
Satan’s lies have deceived many and will continue to deceive until Jesus’ return. We, as Christ’s “hands and feet,” must hold out Jesus’ invitation to life to anyone willing to listen.
It’s ironic that responding positively to Jesus’ invitation doesn’t really deprive us of anything we need, because He becomes our everything. Charles H. Spurgeon wrote: “How comprehensive is the love of Jesus! There is no part of His people’s interests which He does not consider, and there is nothing which concerns their welfare which is not important to Him.”
The closer I get to Jesus, the greater my love for my wife, family, neighbors, friends, and those with whom I have contact from day to day. The greater measure of gratitude I have for all the Lord gives me, the more He showers me with His loving presence. Every day I marvel at how generously He has provided for me, yet how little I care about in comparison to my desire for Him.
Perhaps Helen H. Lemmel said it best in her chorus: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
One of the reasons the narrow way is difficult to find is because the only signage is us. And we’re so often consumed with ourselves we forget to share with those who need to see His light and love through us. It’s not enough for us to be beacons of light if our light isn’t illuminating Jesus.
Blessings, Ed 😊