THE NARROW GATE | Part Two (Listen to audio #39)
Matthew 7: 13-14
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
“Back in 1989, I was living in West London, house-sitting a family member’s lovely little flat over the summer. In the flat above lived the film director Tim Burton… We got to know each other on and off quite well that year… He was a pretty good neighbor, I tried to be the same. At the time I was in my last year of college, studying to go into advertising as a copywriter. One night he and his wife came over for dinner. Somewhere along the line the subject of my career choice came up. Back then I was a bit apprehensive about doing the “creative” thing for a living… in my family people always had “real” jobs in corporations and banks, etc., and the idea of breaking with tradition made me pretty nervous. ‘Well’, said Tim, ‘if you have the creative bug, it isn’t ever going to go away. I’d just get used to the idea of dealing with it.’ It was d*mn good advice. It still is.”
- “Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity”, Hugh MacLeod
Matthew 19 /
21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Tough Questions /
Can you leave your friends’ ideas of success and blessedness?
Can you leave your families idea of success and blessedness?
Can you leave your culture’s version of success and blessedness?
Who Needs the Convincing? /
The Problem is Not Convincing Me but Me Being Convinced Those Around Me are not Right and the Value I put on their Worldview and Opinions are Lessened.
The Problem is that I still Value the Crowd’s Interpretation and Worldview of What Deserves our Value and Commitment.
“Those you love, hate, admire, jealous of, envy, does not value what you are about to value or see worth valuing (worshipping). It would be so much easier if “they” now endorsed your newfound love for Jesus, if they now wanted God as well.”
“The desire to have them desire what you desire in order to give you the courage to desire it is the very thing that must be let go and put to the cross. It’s the death of your unhealthy care for other’s thoughts.”
“This is the meaning of taking up the cross, it’s a lonely endeavor, but at least you’ll be in good Company, maybe for the first time in your life. The presence of Jesus. It’s lonely because no one wants to carry the cross with you.”
“The Narrow Gate, exposes your our deepest fears, desires, and wants.”
Now for a Different Question & Perspective on a Familiar Passage /
Who’s to go Through this Narrow Gate? Who makes it to the other side?
Not, “What can you let go of?”, but “What can’ you afford to leave on this side?”
Maybe the question is, “if you could fit one thing through this narrow gate, what would you push through first? What is of most value to you, more than you? What would you ensure passes through this gate so as to make sure you have it on the other side of this gate?”
Another Way to Imagine This: Last Spot on the Titanic’s Emergency Boat What if you were on the Titanic and the Ship was sinking. You had but one slot left, what would you place in the emergency boat before you? I would put my family in it.
This is a narrow situation. Do you get it?
Things we Often Put Before Us or God /
A | Career (Meaning, Identity, Purpose)
B | Riches
C | Love
Careerism / Love for and the Worship of Career over God (What I do vs Who I am)
“Careerism has become the main work ethic of our times. At root, careerism is an attitude, a life orientation in which a person views career as the primary and most important aim of life. An extreme but not uncommon expression of this is found in the comment of a man who told me that he feared dying mainly because it would mean the end of his career.” - Douglas Labier, Modern Madness Page 25
Many of us would place Money on the Emergency Boat on the Titanic.
You don’t really need or desire them, you want what comes with the “other”.
The most dangerous person to date is the one who desperate needs a person.
They don’t want you, they want the benefits of the “other”.
Love is discovered, not sought.
“I never needed you until I met you, now that i met you I realize I’ve always needed you” - the need is retroactively given. / Peter Rollins
Jesus Puts the Father First /
Genesis 22: 1-14
Reflect on how Abraham put God before even his own son. Abraham, in this “narrow” situation proves that he values God most.
Philippians 2: 8
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
Luke 22: 42
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
John 10: 18
“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Matthew 12: 50
“Whoever does the will of My Father”… whoever puts God first is related to me, is of me.
Romans 5: 19
“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”