“But how small is the gate, how narrow the road that leads on to life.”
Matthew 7:14 (Knox)
“The narrow gate and the hard road lead out into life.”
Matthew 7:14 (JB Phillips)
“No faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity.”
In search of longevity, many paid a hefty sum to procure the answer. Life is not found in oriental herbs or medicine. True life according to Apostle Matthew’s understanding is found in the narrow way. The Greek word for ‘narrow’ is thlibo means afflictions, troubles, heavy burden or pressure. It has a pictorial connotation of a huge, massive boulder weighs on the stomach of a person lying on the floor. The heavy weight of load acted as the burdensome, overloading pressure is known as thlibo. It is overwhelmingly unbearable affliction. “But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.” (Amp.)
“Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.”
On closer examination, one discovers that the gate and the way are both straitened and narrow in space. “Enter by the narrow gate … for the gate is small, and the way is narrow …” (Matthew 7:13, 14 NASB) The New King James Bible described the narrow or thlibo as the ‘difficult’ way.
“The most advantageous place for our manhood is that which is surrounded with splendid difficulties.”
Where can one find the entrance or the doorway of this gate? The author recalled the gate of the tabernacle of Moses. (Exodus 27:9-19) This linen gate is situated on the eastern side f the camp and it is prepared from the fibre of flax. The white colour symbolised righteousness. Often, the snow-capped mountain of Lebanon typifies a righteous life. (Hosea 14:4-7) The white linen speaks explicitly of righteousness. “For the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Revelation 19:8) This fence acts as a demarcation boundary of God and this world. Separation is the underlying principle of righteousness, “the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness,” (Isaiah 5:16) “Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked ….” (Malachi 3:18) What then is the glory and the stimulating incentive of living such a life? The structure of the white linen fence gives us the insights into the preciousness of righteousness. The white linen fence is 100 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 5 cubits high. [1 cubit measured as 1 and ½ feet] Therefore, it is 150 feet long, 75 feet wide and 7½ feet high. The figure 100 cubits speaks of fruitfulness (the 100-fold blessings of Matthew 13:23); the 50 cubits speaks of liberty (the 50th year is a national jubilee of liberty for all citizens in Leviticus 25:10); the 5 cubits speaks of grace (the five possessions of Jacob in Genesis 32:5) Hence, righteousness is the legitimate doorway of access into a life of grace and liberty blossoming forth abundant fruitfulness. Indeed, a righteous life is a fruitful life.
“Righteous and Rottenness are the two opposite poles of a magnet.”
“Better is a little with righteousness than vast revenues without justice.”
“Virtuous saint values a grain of righteousness more than a ton of gold.”
[Incommodiousness means inconveniently small and narrow causing great discomfort and troublesomeness.]