Devotional Thoughts from Matthew 7:13-29.
Republished from marmsky.wordpress.com with permission
Jesus concludes his instructions to his disciples in his sermon on the mount with four figures of speech – all having to do with the dangers of counterfeit Christianity.
He talks about two ways of trying to enter the kingdom: the hard way and the easy way. The gate to the hard way is narrow, so people are less likely to choose it. The gate to the easy way is wide. It is very popular. He warns that only those who enter through the narrow gate will find life on the other side. Those who look for the easy way in will find destruction. Eternal life is not something everyone is born with. It is conditional, the result of the right choice (13-14).
Leaders of the easy way are false prophets, but they look genuine. They prophesy and exorcise demons and do mighty works in Jesus’ name, and call him their lord. Jesus does not know them, and he didn’t send them, but they will be here claiming to do his will all the same. Inside they are wolves, not sheep (15, 21-23).
Jesus warns his disciples to be on the lookout for those leaders of the easy way. He says they will look like any other tree of the orchard, but the fruit they bear will be bad. That is how they can be recognized. The promoters of the easy way will end in destruction – by fire (16-20).
People who take the easy way are like the foolish man who builds his house on the sand – with no solid foundation. It is only a matter of time in a world of rain, floods and winds that such shoddy workmanship will be revealed. Those wise enough to prepare for entrance through the narrow gate will build a solid foundation. They will hear the king’s words and do them (24-27).
LORD, we choose the hard way, the less popular way. Help us to avoid the false prophets and stay true to your word. Make us the genuine article.