***Also borrowed from Shane Vanderhart’s ‘Christ Alone’ blog
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:12-14)
Prior to Matthew 7:13-15 we have 2 chapters of teachings and one verse prior (vs. 12) we see this “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets’ (summing up Jesus’ whole view of his faith – which was Jewish and based on the Law and Prophets).
Oddly enough, Jesus narrows down a whole 39 books to one sentence – wow! So what does narrow mean in that exact passage? Could it be something very foundational to his idea of faith – something he teaches against quite regularily in the gospels – maybe faith needs to be made simpler so everyone can be involved? It would seem the current view of faith was well known but also quite complex – and it this was common knowledge. Maybe there is few there be that find out religion is not something that needs to be supremely complex and filled with 100’s of rules.
The false prophets things brings us into a point I am trying to make all along – Jesus wants us to ‘follow him’ (theme of Matthew) and this means his teachings.
By verse 23 we see Jesus casting out people who thought they knew him – quite intricately knew him it seems – but they did not know him…their lone problem – ‘lawlessness/unrighteousness’ – the same point of the fruits of parable (vs. 16-20). Then we move into the foundations (vs. 24-29) and we see something odd – what makes the foundation (or one could say a righteousness)? – listening to and following/doing Jesus’ teachings. It seems quite plain to me – Jesus is clearly asking us to acquainte ourselves with his sayings (to do them) and thus build our faith in way that is ‘wise’. Some did not – in this parable, nor in the fruit parable, or even those that claimed to know him – all coming back to one simple idea – to follow Jesus (ie: be Christian) is to incorporate his teachings ‘proving’ to Jesus you do ‘know him’.
There is no simple salvation idea in chapter 7 – Jesus seems to be asking his followers to be a certain ‘way’.