Jesus uses the image of two diverging paths to confront us with a choice in Matthew 7:13-14. Either we’re following Jesus or we’re going the way of everybody else. While Jesus’ way is difficult, it leads to life. And everyone else’s way, while easy, leads to destruction. Jesus is saying there’s no middle ground.
If living the life of a disciple is an either/or choice, then you can’t be a disciple while picking and choosing what parts of Jesus’ instructions to obey. Either a follower embodies the life of the kingdom, or they’re just following the crowd down the easy road to destruction. We see this at work when Jesus stands up to Satan’s temptations in Matthew 4. 3 times, He’s offered a shortcut to his desired end. Each time he refuses to take the easy shortcut, opting instead to do it God’s way. To follow Jesus is to imitate his example here. Are we willing to set aside the right to call the shots on our own? Are we prepared to go the hard way because it’s God’s way? Jesus calls us to the long, hard road, but promises us that it is to life. Will we trust him?
Questions for Reflection
- Have you ever made a decision that looked good at the time but turned out to be bad? What did that experience show you about your decision-making process?
- What are the places where Jesus’ way seems more challenging than the way everyone else seems to be going?
- Are there places where Jesus is calling you to take the hard path? How are you responding to him?
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