Jesus told a parable (story) about coming into God’s kingdom by using the example of a narrow gate and the wide gate. What did He mean by this parable? (Matthew 7:13, 14)
At the conclusion of Jesus’ sermon on the mountainside in which Jesus had described two ways of life, the kingdom life and an earth centered life. Jesus provides this warning regarding those who will follow His teaching and those who will not.
Ask the children…
How difficult is the choice to enter God’s kingdom compared to not entering it?
“‘You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.’” (Matthew 7:13)
If it is a narrow gate, a person must choose to turn aside and enter and put aside all their belongings and beliefs that will not fit that narrow gate. If it is a broad gate, then it doesn’t take any choice at all and a person can enter without changing anything.
Only a few choose the narrow gate of following Jesus. He asks for us to give up the old ‘self’ centered way of life to follow Him. The broad gate to hell beckons us to remain ‘self’ occupied and to focus on what appears good for me and to get all I can while I am on this earth.
What does Jesus emphasize about the difference between the paths that the two gates lead to?
“‘But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.’” (Matthew 7:14)
A narrow gate leads to a difficult life and not many choose that path. Jesus chose the path of giving up his life and dying on a cross for us. We know in the end that this is the path to abundant life, but Jesus warned that the decision to follow Him ulitmately into the abundance of the kingdom would not be easy.
Ask your children what they think about these two gates? Is the christian life sometimes harder for them than for those who follow the broad path? What have they had to give up to follow Christ? Rejoice with them for the decisions they have made and ask Jesus for strength to continue on this path of the kingdom.
Feel free to share your own stories below in the comments section.
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