Some Christians read this passage and think that salvation is very hard and only few people will find it by their hard works and obedience:
Matthew 7 ‘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…..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.’
When we read this passage, we think that most Christians will go to hell because they didn’t do enough works, or didn’t stop sinning, etc.
But Jesus was not talking to Christians. He was talking to Jews in His lifetime.
Most of Israel rejected Jesus and followed after the Pharisees, teachers of the law, zealots, false prophets, false Messiahs that appeared in their lifetime between AD30-AD70 when Jerusalem was destroyed.
Jesus says that most Israelites saw Him for 3.5 years and yet they rejected Him but that people from all other nations would be saved.
Luke 13 “22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
Why did this happen? It was because Israel knew the entire Bible and followed after righteousness by works of the Law. They failed to accept the Grace of God and believe in Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.
Romans 9 “30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. “
Matthew 21 “43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. “
The kingdom of God was taken away from the Old Covenant of Israel, and the Law ended. The kingdom of God is now in the New Covenant which is mostly Gentile nations that has produced fruit (Billions of believers for 2000 years).
The narrow gate is Jesus Himself. The broad road was the Old Covenant (righteousness by the ten commandments and law) where Israel perished.
John 10 “7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.”
Today we live in the New Covenant world, the Age of Grace where the nations are coming to faith in Jesus Christ by grace, and not works.
One day Israel will open their eyes and join the nations in believing in Jesus (Romans 11:25-27) when Jesus will return and establish a new world to come.
Salvation is easy, because Jesus did all the work on the cross, dying for our sins and being raised the dead. Salvation is by grace and not your works.
Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ receives the forgiveness of sins freely by grace.