We must make ourselves ever so familiar to the keeper of the narrow gate.

Wednesday, 10/30/13

Let me refresh your understanding of what Jesus meant by telling us to enter through the narrow gate. He was speaking to people who lived in old walled towns that had one large gate through which farmers went out to their fields, and merchants passed in and out of with their wares.

The gate served as a town hall where the heads of families each had the seat he occupied, hearing disputes and finalizing contracts. Those seniors were in charge of the gate, seeing it opened at sunup, and closed at nightfall. If there were bandits in the area, or if there was disease loose in the region, the seniors would shut the gate, and no amount of shouting and knocking would get them to open it.  

Every town had a few smart citizens who could get in or out when the town gate was closed. They were the regulars who knew about a secret narrow gate hidden on the far side of the wall, and they had over the years taken the trouble to make themselves known to the keeper of that narrow gate.

Jesus was using the image of that narrow gate and its gatekeeper to tell us that if we want to get into heaven we cannot go along with everyone else, always taking the easy way. No. For us, taking the effort to get around to the narrow gate can be translated into getting up to go to church, staying up to study hard subjects, putting up with annoying people, giving up our bad habits. In all those ways we can make ourselves ever so familiar to the Lord, who is the keeper of the narrow gate.

No comments:

Post a Comment