Jesus is the way – the narrow way
Jesus said that there are few who find the narrow way. Do you know how to find it, and more, to walk on it?
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6.
Jesus is the way. The way to the Father. The way of life. The way to salvation. Jesus lived on earth to show us the way. To follow Him on this way means that we are to walk as He walked. We are to follow in His footsteps, living as He lived. A way indicates progression. When we follow Him we come to where He is now.
Jesus calls this way “the narrow way.”
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14.
Entering the narrow way
How do we find this gate, the entrance to this narrow way? It’s not because we are exceptional people, or by doing something that makes us deserving of finding it. It is simply because God, in His love and mercy, puts a desire for the good in our hearts and draws us in the right direction.
But once we see that narrow gate, there is something we must do before we can start to walk on the narrow way that leads to life. Paul describes this perfectly in Philippians 3:7-8: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
It means we have to leave behind everything that God points out to us that will hinder us from walking on this way. Our own reasonings and ideas. Our belief in our own abilities. Relationships that hold us back. Status. Honor. Pride. Those have to be counted as loss and rubbish and left outside the gate; there is no room for them on the narrow way. If we can get our eyes opened to see, as Paul saw, the value of what it is to “gain Christ,” then we can see how it is possible to count everything else as loss.
Walking on the narrow way
Now that we’ve entered the way, it’s time to walk on it. We have to be doers and not hearers only (James 1:22). The narrow way is a way of action. It’s a way that goes through the(Hebrews 10:20). And here Jesus shows us how He walked when He was on earth; the way that we are to follow: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come – In the volume of the book it is written of Me – To do Your will, O God.’” Hebrews 10:7. In other words, to walk on the narrow way means that we give up our own will entirely. Our own thoughts about how our life should be, our own desires. It means that we must overcome sin in the flesh, those things that are so natural to us, in order to do God’s will. This includes things like laziness, self-seeking, greed, resentment, pride, etc.
Now we can see why it is called the narrow way. There are few who are willing to actually walk on this way, because to give up our own will actually causes us suffering. Yet to walk on the narrow way is not a heavy life. There is actually great freedom on the narrow way. Freedom from being bound to commit sin when we are tempted! “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2.
Jesus is the way – we get to know Him
And what is the result of walking on this way? We get to know Jesus as our personal friend and brother! “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Philippians 3:10.
And not only that we know Him, but that we can rest in the assurance that when our time on earth is over and we go into eternity, He will know us! “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21.
Everything that happens to us can work together for good. Everything we experience that causes our flesh to react and tempt us to sin is an opportunity to overcome it to a greater degree and become more and more free. “… for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin …” And as this sinful nature is shed, the virtues of Christ – the fruits of the Spirit – grow. This is God’s purpose for us – that we are transformed and conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29). The way is the life that Jesus lived. If we follow Him on it and live a life of doing God’s will instead of our own, then when we enter the kingdom of heaven and get to meet Him face to face, we will be like Him, and see Him as He is (1 John 3:2-3).
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.