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Going the way of Christ
Bible Passage Matthew 7: 13-29
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book Matthew.

Going the way of Christ

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached May 15, 2023

13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the road is spacious that leads to destruction, and many people are entering by it.

14 How narrow is the gate and how constricted is the road that leads to life, and there aren’t many people who find it!”

15 “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are savage wolves.

16 You will know them by their fruit. Grapes aren’t gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles, are they?

17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit.

18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a rotten tree cannot produce good fruit.

19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire.

20 So by their fruit you will know them.”

21 “Not everyone who keeps saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will get into the kingdom from heaven, but only the person who keeps doing the will of my Father in heaven.

22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name, drove out demons in your name, and performed many miracles in your name, didn’t we?’

23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who practice evil!’”

24 “Therefore, everyone who listens to these messages of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock.

25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, but it did not collapse because its foundation was on the rock.

26 “Everyone who keeps on hearing these messages of mine and never puts them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

27 The rain fell, the floods came, the winds blew and battered that house, and it collapsed—and its collapse was total.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, the crowds were utterly amazed at his teaching,

29 because he was teaching them like a person who had authority, and not like their scribes.

There are two ways of life. One is the easy way of pleasing self, which most choose and which leads to destruction. The other is the narrow way of denying self for Jesus’ sake, which leads to life.
Many people like to choose their own way of life rather than to follow Jesus. But that easy road does not lead to true life.
(verses 13-14).

Things may be difficult if we decide to follow Jesus. There are many people who oppose His disciples. It will not be easy to obey Jesus. Matthew recorded some of what Jesus taught people (Matthew chapters 5-7). But the few people who choose this narrow road become His disciples, and they will obtain eternal life.

One reason why many do not follow the narrow way is that they are deceived by those who teach their own views on how people can find meaning in life. Their teaching at first sounds reasonable, but in the end, it proves to be destructive.

Jeremiah said that the true ones told people to turn away from their sins. The false ones pretended to say good things from God. They would say that they had a message from God, but then they encouraged people to do wrong things. The people continued to do wrong things, and the false teachers did not obey God’s laws themselves (Jeremiah 23:16-22). The teachers appear to be as harmless as sheep, but actually, they are as dangerous as wolves.

A bad tree produces bad fruit, and wrong teaching produces wrong behaviour (verses 15-20).

Another reason why people do not follow the narrow way is that they deceive themselves. They think that because they attach themselves to Jesus’ followers they will enter Jesus’ kingdom. They may even preach in Jesus’ name, but if they have never had a personal experience of God through faith and repentance, they too will go to the place of destruction (verses 21-23).

The difference between Jesus’ teaching and the teaching of the scribes was obvious to all. The scribes referred to respected teachers of the past for their authority, but Jesus spoke on His own authority. The scribes could only repeat the regulations of Judaism, but Jesus interpreted the law with authority from God (verses 28-29).

It is easy to build a house on the sand by a river. That may be cheaper because the cost of labour and water and sand may be lower. But that’s an unwise risk. A wise man ensures he builds his house in a strong place. When the rain comes, the river becomes a flood. That rush of water and the strong winds would destroy a house if someone built it on the sand. An unwise person does not obey Jesus’ words and does not continue to believe Jesus when trouble comes. All kinds of problems are like storms that attack us. A person must obey Jesus’ words to stand strong in such problems.

🔷 Simple easy ways may be deceptive, but narrow roads walked with Christ will lead to success

🔷 Use the scriptures as a guide to be careful of false prophets who may be difficult to fish out ordinarily

🔷 Believers must go beyond the mere mentioning of God’s name to doing the will of God

💥 Pray for strength to walk the narrow road
💥 Pray for wisdom to identify false prophets

We build homes to have safety, protection, and security from the storm and the enemy. If the home is built with Christ from the beginning, the house gets stronger day after day. The road may be tough but let’s walk with pride with the knowledge that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

In series Bright Morning Reflections