The Narrow Gate | January 22
“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.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
Jesus, Matthew repeats the same admonition that Luke stated. The gate to heaven is indeed narrow. In this instance, where You remind us that few will enter the Kingdom of heaven, You tell us that the kind of fruit our lives bear is critical.
We know we are not to judge each other. Jesus, You have told us that judgment is Your province and we know that You tell us not to try and help with that task. Your word tells us that event will happen in the twinkling of an eye. Judgment day will come upon us when we least expect it. We will either run to You or turn away in fear.
But here You say we will know a person by their fruits. The identity of those who love You and who do not love You, with all their hearts, mind and soul is made evident; we disclose it all day long.
You tell us elsewhere that a brackish well does not yield fresh water and that an olive tree does not bear figs. Help us, today, to yield the kind of fruit that identifies us as Your disciples. That is what we want to be, Jesus; a follower of You who seeks to be to others as You have been to us. Strengthen us, we pray, in Your Holy name, amen.
The Sola Scriptura Project