There are many signs on our roads that help us as we journey from place to place. Some signs are directional signs, pointing us to the place we want to go or indicating the direction in which we must drive. Some are restriction signs alerting us to the allowed speed on a road or the fact that certain types of vehicles are not allowed on a certain road. And then there are warning signs. These are signs that give us a heads up, a warning, about something in the road ahead that we need to be aware of. There are signs that warn us that there is a deer crossing or railroad crossing ahead, and signs that tell us to slow down due to construction on the road ahead of us.
At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us several warning signs to heed in our lives. The first of those warnings concerns the gate that leads to eternal life. When we are traveling, we look for the easiest and fastest way to get to our destination. We want to get there quickly and with as little traffic as possible. But when it comes to eternal life, Jesus tells us that the gate that leads to it is a narrow one. The way to that gate is a narrow road that is not always easy to travel. Because of that, there are few who will enter through this gate. There is another gate, a much wider one. The road to that gate is also a wide road, much easier to travel and because it is so easy to travel on, because the gate it leads to is so easy to get through, many will take this route and this gate. But Jesus warns us that this gate leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus is the road and the gate to eternal life. He is the way to the Father, the way to spending eternal life in His presence. There is no other road that leads to the Father other than the road that follows Jesus (John 14:6). And although Jesus has prepared this road for us to follow, following it is not always easy. It requires that we turn from things in our life that are outside of the will of God. We must not conform to the ways of the world, but rather allow our minds to be transformed by the Holy Spirit so that we can discern God’s perfect will (Romans 12:2). We have to live as people who are “in” the world but not “of” it. We need to follow the example that Jesus has set for us. It is not good enough just to place our trust in Jesus. We need to follow Him on that narrow road, which leads to the narrow gate leading to eternal life.