The Two Gates and Ways of Matthew 7:13–14, and the One That Leads to Life

A path through a forest with trees on either side. The photo was taken in autumn, so there are no leaves on the trees.

Jesus begins this portion of His sermon by exhorting His hearers to enter through the narrow gate. For years, I felt like that was a surprising way to start the thought. Especially since He immediately changes His topic to the gate and way that we should not travel. As I reflect on it further, it actually does make sense. The reason is because the consequences of not entering by the narrow gate are horrible.

The Way of the Righteous and the Way of the Wicked in Psalm 1

A black and white photo of two paths in a park or forest. A lot of trees are visible throughout, and a park bench is on the side of the path to the right. It curves to the right, while another path at the left goes straight.

One common aspect of the Bible is its contrasts. Many passages speak of only two positions. A well-known text that presents such a division is the first Psalm. It describes the contrast between the righteous and the wicked. I think it will be beneficial for us to explore these two different types of people so we are encouraged to go in the way of righteousness.

The Parable of the Two Sons, Repentance, and God the Father

Clusters of grapes hanging in a vineyard.

Near the end of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus shares the Parable of the Two Sons. In the story, the first son doesn't remain disobedient. He changes his mind. He goes to the vineyard as his father commanded. He is obedient and does his will. We can also change our minds, and seek to follow the will of God the Father.