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Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Matthew 7:13-23 – The True Disciple

1 The way to destruction and a Narrow gate on the Way leading to Life

MT7:13 “Enter[1] by the Narrow Gate.[2] For the way to destruction is broad and roomy[3] and many are those entering by it.[4] MT7:14 For, narrow the Gate and cramped the Way leading to Life[5] and few are those finding it.[6]

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[1] Enter: The person described in the conclusion who ‘hears and does the teachings’ of the Nazarene as found in this sermon, is obviously a true or real disciple. The principles already laid out by the Nazarene may appear daunting to his audience, for it asks each one who will follow to go far beyond the Torah. It asks the would-be disciple to go beyond the letter to the spirit of the Law.

What is expected of the Nazarene disciple? Though this sermon does not dwell on doctrinal points of the Christ, it does allude to or infer several. These are called The Seven Principles and are outlined in the Lord’s Prayer. So, the Friend of the Nazarene would have to accept these primary points. The main thrust of the Mountain Teachings is ‘love your neighbor.’ The Nazarene Saint will have to become a New Person in dealings with neighbors: unselfish selflessness motivated by an interest which seeks the highest good of neighbor will characterize the ‘true disciple’ (For details see the book Nazarene Principles©).

English: Islamic Jesus (Isa) miniature of Serm...

English: Islamic Jesus (Isa) miniature of Sermon on the Mount Deutsch: Altpersische Miniatur mit Jesus (a.) bei der Bergpredigt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[2] Narrow Gate: A gate may lead into a city or a home (Jeremiah 37:13; Acts 12:13, 14). The entrance to the Household of Faith is narrow and restrictive. The gate is the first element to enter such a Household. We might view these teachings of the Nazarene in his Mountain Teachings as part and parcel of this “gate” with its belief system and restrictive requirements, even demands, on that person who would desire ‘to follow the Lamb no matter where he goes.’ (Revelation 14:5) Though possessed of lofty requirements it is really the ideal of the New Person with the Transformed Mind (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:13, 15, 23, 24). The Nazarene is only asking that you be a decent and well-mannered human being. Even when an agnostic evolutionist is asked about the ideal person, a description of Christ (or that person of Jesus’ sermon) is forthcoming. Note Luke 13:24 and the effort needed to get through the narrow door.’ In Luke the ‘narrow door’ is in response to a question whether only a few are being saved. To this Jesus’ exhorts, ‘Strain every nerve’ (GDSP); or, ‘agonize the agony,’ if the literal Greek is favored. The “gate” seems to be that of the “sheepfold” and not a subject about the salvation of all humanity (John chapter 10).

[3] The way to destruction is broad and roomy: “Destruction” is often associated with Sheol or the grave in the Hebrew Bible (Job 26:6; 28:22; Proverbs 15:11; 27:20). It is that place all persons will enter with the possibility of escaping at the end of the 1,000 years (Revelation 2:13-15; Job 14:12-15). Those who enter the gate of the sheepfold or household of faith accept the ‘heavenly calling’ (Hebrews 3:1) and are transformed from death to life (John 5:24; 1 John 3:1).

The way to Destruction is “broad and spacious” because it allows for a wide diversity of convictions and beliefs. The Narrow Gate must include the contents of the Nazarene’s Mountain Teachings contained in Matthew chapters 5-7.

[4] Many are those entering by it: Paul teaches that “all” descendants of Adam go into Death and that “all” will be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). However, some find “real life” during their lifetimes (1 Timothy 6:19). They are among the “few” in contrast to the billions who lose that opportunity described by Revelation 20:4, 6.

[5] Narrow the Gate and cramped the Way leading to Life: Various renderings: KJ: straight is the gate; KNX: how small is the gate; GDSP: the road is hard. The Mountain Teachings demonstrate the narrowness and rigidity of the Nazarene’s requirements for entrance into the Realm of Profession.

[6] Few are those finding it: Perhaps “find” applies to the ultimate attainment of the Kingdom of the Father. Note that Daniel 12:2, with reference to the resurrection of the Saints, “many” are mentioned. Whereas, Paul says “all” with reference to all Adam’s children (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). The final tally of the Church will be “few” compared to the totality of those raised at the end of the 1,000 years (Revelation 20:5, 13-15).

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Preceding article

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:27-30 – 2. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:14

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

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Additional reading

  1. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  2. Obtain favour from Yahweh
  3. Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still

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Further reading

  1. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Contrasts
  2. Two Gates
  3. Enter the Narrow Gate
  4. Life’s Narrow and Wide Gates
  5. 8. Doors and Destinations
  6. A Narrow Door…
  7. The Narrow Gate
  8. The Narrow Gate (by Jack Bailey)
  9. Daily Mass: The narrow gate. Catholic Inspiration
  10. The Protestant – Catholic divide – The Narrow and the Wide Gates
  11. Love, Entering the Narrow Gate
  12. The Narrow Way
  13. Religious Theology – The wide gate!
  14. Taking responsibility – the narrow gate that leads to life
  15. Difficult is the Way that Leads to Life
  16. Those Who Find It Are Few.
  17. Only dead fish swim with the stream
  18. against the stream
  19. How to choose between the wide and the narrow
  20. How to choose between the wide and the narrow:part 3
  21. Guard My Feet Lord
  22. But Officer, It’s the “Spirit” of the Law
  23. How to be a spirit-of-the-law or hope-based leader
  24. You are a spiritual being: Act like one
  25. From nobodies to somebodies
  26. Day 16 – How much more valuable is a person?
  27. Matthew ch. 15
  28. The Path of Love
  29. footprints and deep mental paths
  30. The Renewed Mind: When the Impossible Seems Logical
  31. The Cost of Discipleship
  32. The Cost of Discipleship (discussion questions)
  33. Be serious, strive hard – January 12, 2017
  34. The Way home Psalm 56:3-4 Luke 13:22-30
  35. Navel-Gazing vs Finding the Real Cause of it All!
  36. Urgency
  37. Turnstile Salvation
  38. Awaken
  39. Exodus 10, Job 28, Luke 13, 1 Corinthians 14
  40. The Crumb That Turns Stale With Time

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Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 8: Matthew 7:6-11 Giving and neighbor love

Matthew 7:6-11 g) Giving and neighbor love

|| Luke 11:9-13

MT7:6 “You should not give[1] the ‘Holy’ to the ‘dogs.’ Nor throw your ‘pearls’ before ‘swine.’[2] So they never trample them underfoot and they turn and attack you.[3] MT7:7 Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and doors will open.[4] MT7:8 For, everyone: The asking receive. The seeking find. The knocking have doors opened.[5] MT7:9 Or, who is the person among you, when a child asks for bread, gives it a stone?[6] MT7:10 Or, [when the child] asks for a fish, will give it a serpent?[7] MT7:11 So, you, though wicked know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more your heavenly Father gives good[8] to those asking?[9]

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[1] Give: Obviously “giving” is an important element in neighbor love.

[2] Throw your ‘pearls’ before ‘swine’: The Nazarene’s sarcasm may continue here, for in the area of personal judgment one’s own “pearls” are also very “holy” (particularly if one belongs to a self-righteous religion) and so Jesus encourages keeping one’s mouth shut and one’s opinions (no matter how “holy” and pearl-like) to one’s self. Note Proverbs 9:7 and 15:12: reproof.

Various renderings are: BAS: or put your jewels before pigs; NEB: do not feed pearls to pigs. The Nazarene may stress the futility of wasting religious “pearls” on those considered “pigs” from a spiritual (Jewish) standpoint. The whole matter seems contextual with what went before and is an exaggerated absurdum to a highly judgmental and self-righteous people.

[3] They turn and attack you: Very often the reaction of people, or your neighbors, to your religious “pearls” is to attack or belittle your strongly held views. So, it is a waste of your time and ultimately damages your neighbor, causing them to behave in an abnormal manner.

[4] Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and doors will open: This takes a good degree of humility for one does not feel everything resides within one’s self. Note Luke 11:9-13. Various renderings are: MOF: ask and the gift will be yours; TCNT: your prayer shall be granted. All of this is very positive and the Nazarene assures positive results. Compare James 1:5.

[5] The asking receive. The seeking find. The knocking have doors opened: See Luke 18:1-8 on persistence. Various renderings: GDSP: for it is always the one who asks who receives. The person who refuses to ask, search, or knock on doors will find opportunity a rare bird indeed. The initial action produces those opportunities which would lie dormant unless otherwise aroused.

[6] Asks for bread, gives it a stone: See Jeremiah 29:12: prayer. Another hyperbole or absurdum from the Nazarene. Cannot we expect God to be at least as gracious as humans?

[7] Serpent: Luke uses the phrase ‘scorpion for an egg.’ The idea is ridiculous but the Nazarene builds confidence that the Father would do no less than respond in kindness and goodness.

[8] Father gives good: See James 1:17 and the perfect Giver. The Father is a “giver,” not only to His children, but even to the unrighteous, wicked, and unthankful (Matthew 5:45; Luke 6:35). The Father gave mankind ‘the Gift beyond description.’ (2 Corinthians 9:15)

[9] To those asking: Luke adds, ‘The Heavenly Father will give Holy Spirit to those asking Him.’ (Luke 11:13) The Nazarene assures, ‘Anything you ask the Father in my name He will give it to you.’ (John 16:23)

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Preceding

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 5 Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 6: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

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Further reading

  1. Finding God in the Abstract with Unabridged Certainty
  2. Dogs and Dumplings
  3. How not to cast Pearls to Pigs
  4. Disappointments in Life, Not a Disappointing Life
  5. measure 83 times, cut twice… start over, repeat…
  6. Disappointments in Life, Not a Disappointing Life
  7. How not to cast Pearls to Pigs
  8. Summer Devotional July 17th, 2017
  9. The Art of Asking
  10. You should know this if you ask God for things
  11. Ask
  12. Ask, Seek, Knock
  13. #35 Are You Afraid to Ask for Help?
  14. Verse of the day Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in
  15. Don’t be Afraid to Ask Sometimes things break right when you are in the middle of something. Case in point, my can opener broke right in the middle of opening a can and I could not get it off or open the can.
  16. Desires of the heart
  17. This Gift called Grace
  18. Simply for the Joy of It
  19. A Father Who Provides
  20. Daily word for 19 January 2017 – Matthew 7:11
  21. Just Ask (365 Days of Daring Faith — Day 353)
  22. Good Good Father From Grace Place

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Related articles

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Chapter seven:
Judging and Proving

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued

Matthew 7:1-5: f) Judgment and neighbor love

|| Luke 6:41, 42

MT7:1 “You,[1] condemn not,[2] that you are not condemned.[3] MT7:2 For you will be judged with that ‘judgment’ by which you are judging![4] MT7:3 Why look at the straw-speck[5] in your brother’s eye when you do not consider the rafter in your own eye? MT7:4 Or, how will you say to your brother:[6] ‘Permit me to exorcise[7] the straw-speck in your eye?’ MT7:5 Hypocrite,[8] first exorcise that rafter out of your own eye and then see clearly enough to exorcise the straw-speck in your brother’s eye!

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[1] You: The following teachings of the Nazarene have a direct bearing on his ongoing commentary on neighbor love.

[2] Condemn not: It ought to be clear that a judgmental attitude highly influences neighbor love. One of the most difficult characteristics to overcome for the Friend of the Nazarene with the Transformed Mind is ceasing to be critical of others. Much of this disease is inherited (Romans 5:12). Note how Adam blames his wife and God! (Genesis 3:12) This prideful attitude stems in part from that distortion of being created in the image of God and, therefore, a sense of being the center of the universe. So, our opinions are always exactly correct. This is really self-righteousness, or the attitude of always being in the right, and having the need to express this opinion.

[3] Not condemned: The real danger is not the criticism of others, but that condemnation from on High and with such a Finality.

[4] Judging: This word group “judge” is highly significant in the Bible and occurs over 340 times. There is a Judge, and an Associate Judge, and Book of Judgment, and a Judgment Day, and a Judgment. A study of this word group in a concordance is a must to learn one of the ‘primary doctrines of the Christ.’ (Hebrews 6:1) A basic rule of the Nazarene is that our judgment will be based on our own standards of judgment demonstrated in how we judge others.

See Matthew 18:35 and Galatians 6:1: standards. Two excellent Bible chapters on this subject of judgment are Romans chapters 2 and 14.

Various renderings: GDSP: judged by the standard you judge by; WMS: for exactly as you criticize others you will be criticized; BER: and with that yardstick you measure you will be measured.

The Friend of the Nazarene must struggle hard to remove this judgmental disposition from any dark chambers of the mind and then true liberation comes in the realization that it is not only unnecessary but also God cares little for your opinion of others. On Judgment Day you will not receive a call from ‘the Judge of all the earth’ (Genesis 18:25) asking your opinion on someone.

[5] Why look at the straw-speck: See Luke 6:42 and 1 Corinthians 4:5: self-examine. Various renderings: WMS: why do you keep watching the tiny speck in your brother’s eye; MOF: and fail to see the plank. How critical we are of the tiniest matters when it involves others but how generously forgiving of our own failings. The absurdum or hyperbole of the Nazarene is actually humorous and we wonder at the facial expressions, tonal emphasis, and gestures when the Nazarene relates this metaphor.

[6] Brother: Luke makes the word “brother” part of the address. Various renderings are: RSV: log; BAS: grain of dust; MOF: by what right; GDSP: just let me get that speck out of your eye. The use of “brother” makes it a religious setting. Religion, by its nature, in an atmosphere of righteousness, spawns a judgmental attitude. No religion is immune from this disease but James 1:26 warns that any ‘formal worshipper’ who fails to guard the judgmental tongue is practicing religion in vain.

[7] Exorcise: The Greek is EKBALLO and is used elsewhere for “cast out” or “exorcise” demons. We have chosen “exorcise” because there seems some sarcasm in the Nazarene’s words.

[8] Hypocrite: See Luke 6:42. Various renderings: PHI: you fraud.

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Preceding articles

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 5 Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

Next:

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7 Matthew 7:6-11 Giving and neighbor love

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Further reading

  1. Do Not Judge Others
  2. The Judgmental Secular World
  3. Man Would Make Himself The Rule Of God
  4. skilled at seeing other’s weaknesses
  5. Is being “righteous” possible?
  6. No self-righteousness
  7. Why Self-Righteousness Can Be Annoying
  8. 10 Deadliest Signs of Self-Righteousness You Probably Don’t Know
  9. Gloating
  10. Quick Takes: Romans 13:13
  11. Matthew 7 – Wisdom and Freedom
  12. Do you think it’s ever ok to judge
  13. We’ll Always Be Good Enough With Low Standards
  14. Feeling better by condemning
  15. A Meditation on Life: Self-Righteousness
  16. Blaming the Righteous and Just
  17. Radical: Spirituality! Part 1
  18. The Power of the Self is Broken
  19. The (Right) Way
  20. Love your enemies…
  21. Not the Righteous, But Sinners
  22. The Armour of God vs Garment of Self Righteousness
  23. Log?..What log?
  24. Day 10 – Removing the plank from our own eye
  25. Judgement
  26. Day 11 – Observing our fruit
  27. Do to others…
  28. Motives behind Criticism are often more Important to deal With then the Criticism itself.
  29. Are you judging people by what they look like?
  30. So how does a follower of Jesus respond to all this anger and hate?
  31. Does ‘judge not’ mean make no judgements about sin?

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