Come in through the narrow gate for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads off to destruction; and there are many who go in through it. But how narrow the gate is, and how constricted the way that leads into life! And few people find it.

The metaphor of life as a journey is fundamental to the Hebrew Bible, as it is to many religious and ethical traditions. Here Jesus focuses on the gate that gives access to the way as well as the way itself. As a connoisseur of rights of way, I know these narrow gates, that are hard to find behind trees or bushes, and lead onto pesky paths that are not broad enough for both feet at the one time. They are however often the ancient paths that lead to the top of the hill, the head of the Glen, the shore of the loch. The land rover tracks recently made by estates are never so interesting. Jesus doubtless knew Greek and Roman roads that were easily accessed and broad enough for chariots.

He means of course that gaining access to the true way involves a decision and a desire to find it; and that the way will not be easy or popular. Still, it leads to life.

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