Matthew 7:13-23 To Be Known

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

To Be Known

Jesus, do I know you?  Am I on the Narrow Path?  I think I am.  Do you knomy name?  You know all of our names.  Do you own me?  I want to be known.  I want to be owned.  You have taken me on a path that has so many twists and turns.  What does it mean to be known by you?  Do you turn your attention to us in ways that we can not anticipate?  When the Father has a plan, do you turn tat over to ‘Peter, because I know him.  He’ll let us work through him.”  Aye, there’s the rub.  I don’t always let you work in ways that I should.  Some of it is not directly my fault.  I was broken at birth.  Humanity is broken.  I have broken myself with foolish choices, wicked thoughts, evil actions.  Those actions would cause me to doubt.  Was I yours?  Did you know me then?  However, you are working out a story in me.  You are writing a redemptive narrative in your blood.

Who do you know that I know?  People don’t want to know you.  As David Platt pointed out today at Moody, 50% of Americans would say that they are born again.  When it comes to their lives, though, they don’t live for you.  I don’t think they are on the narrow path.  So many are on the broad path that my head spins to think about it.  Downton Abbey was mocking the idea that peoples around the world do not accept Jesus and are therefore damned.  But what does it mean to be saved?  It means to be in the Father’s presence for eternity.  Most people don’t want your father for eternity, they want an eternal pleasure dome.  They want a life of luxury on an eternal beach.  I want you, Jesus.  I know that you allow me hurt because it heals.  You allow tears because they will be dried.  You redeem those who will come, but the majority – billions – accept a small You for themselves andyou don’t know them.  You give life to tose who will come, but many never wake up to true life and so they are dead in sin and remain dead forever.

I want to help them wake up.  Make it apparent ho I should tlk to and when.  Show me how to wak the narrow road.  Give me narrow words to say in an ever broadening culture.

Amen

Questions

  1. How many paths are there for life?
  2. How might Jesus offend postmodernists and religious pluralists?
  3. What is the key marker that a person is on the narrow path?
  4. Is it true that the majority are still on a path to destruction?
  5. How can we b more authentic and reflect an ever deepening relationship with Jesus?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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