By Joe Slater
“Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14, KJV).
The expression “strait and narrow” has become proverbial in reference to careful compliance with the rules given by parents or by God. However, most mistakenly understand it as “straight and narrow.” The spelling difference is subtle, but the change in meaning is radical!
A “strait” (without the g-h) is seldom straight. Look at the Strait of Magellan or the Strait of Hormuz on a map. They’re anything but straight! Guiding a ship through those straits takes plenty of zigzagging along a difficult and narrow route! They’re called “straits” because they’re difficult, not because they go from point “a” to point “b” without deviation.
Many other Scriptures teach us not to deviate from God’s word, but “strait” in Matthew 7:14 isn’t making that point. The path to eternal life is narrow and difficult! By contrast, the way to destruction is wide and easy (7:13). Most people find wide and easy to be appealing. Comparatively few put forth the effort to travel the narrow, difficult path.
But wait! Doesn’t the majority rule? That sounds very American! How can the majority of people be wrong? Isn’t it arrogant to say that?
Well, we didn’t say it – Jesus did. A majority of Jesus’ own people (the Jews) rejected Him. Despite the thousands who became Christians in Acts, vastly more rejected the gospel. This is nothing new; God has always operated with a remnant.
Are you on that narrow way? It’s difficult, but the destination makes it more than worth the effort!
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com
Sunday, March 19, 2023
A Strait Is Seldom Straight!
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