“ STRIVE TO ENTER THROUGH THE NARROW GATE ”
(New Interpretation of Parable)
What is the meaning of the parable? During the time of Jesus’ ministry before His death on the cross, He spoke mainly to the Jews of Israel. Most of the parables spoken by Jesus was about the nation of Israel and the Jewish Priesthood only and not about other nations or future Christians. Remember prior to the cross, Grace, as we know it today, did not exist during the ministry of Jesus as He spoke to the Jews prior to His death. In Luke 13vs24, Jesus said, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” What was Jesus referring to when He said “Narrow is the gate?” Was Jesus speaking about Himself as being the narrow gate?
No, He was not speaking about Himself. Jesus was talking about the Law as being the Narrow Gate, not Himself He was speaking about the Jewish nation, the Jewish Priesthood exclusively. Jesus was talking about the Law as being the Narrow Gate, a small window, not Himself. Jesus was saying It’s harder to enter Paradise through the Law, this small window, this narrow gate. Jesus was saying that people who are murders, adulteress, liars, envious, prideful, spiteful, hateful, not giving to the poor, not forgiving others, false witness, sexual fornicators, abusiveness of any sort, robbers and thieves, upright individuals that are good citizens and anyone born with an evil nature-that means every child, the rich, the poor, every teen, every adult, every mother, every father, every Jew and every gentile in the world will not enter into Paradise, the kingdom of God through the Law.
The Law is the Narrow Gate. The Law said no to anyone trying to enter the Gate of Paradise. The Law made the Gate of Paradise very narrow to enter-almost impossible to enter except for a few as the scripture said, “Many Are Called but Few Are Chosen” and Jesus was referring to the Jews and the Jewish Priesthood. Jesus spoke in parables and the Jewish Priesthood knew that Jesus was speaking about them in the parables according to NKJ Bible Matt 21vs45, and the parables were very confusing to the Jews at that time period, including many Christians and preachers today who are misinterpreting the Parable (NKJ Bible, Luke 13vs24 and Matt 7vs 12,14).
Jesus is not the Law, the Narrow Gate, where few can only enter. When Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected, the Flood Gates of Paradise became wide open, not narrow, to capture all of humanity and not just a few. Jesus became available as a Savior to everyone who would receive Him as their Savior, including the Jews and all the gentiles in the world. Yes, the Flood Gates of Grace became available to those who were murders, adulteress, liars, envious, prideful, spiteful, hateful, not caring about the poor, not forgiving others, false witness, sexual fornicators, abusiveness of any sort, robbers and thieves, upright individuals that are good citizens and anyone born with an evil nature-that means every child, the rich, the poor, every teen, every adult, every mother, every father, every Jew, and every gentile in the world.
Yes, the Flood Gates of Grace was extended to the “Thief on the cross” as he said to Jesus, “Do not forget me when you come into your kingdom and Jesus said “today you will be with me in Paradise.” A thief in those days committed probably murder or violent attacks upon their victims, but the Gate of Grace, excepting Christ as his Savior gave the thief access into Paradise. The Law, the Narrow Gate would have denied the thief access into Paradise, but the blood of Christ covers all of our sins from murder to mayhem to lying and most of all the evil nature that we inherited from Adam and Eve.
Christian preachers today used the parables mention in this commentary to make Christian Believers doubt their salvation or perhaps, never been saved which is not true. These parables were meant for the Jews only and not meant to condemn Christians who are weak in the faith or in the process of learning to live out their salvation in the midst of their sins-all of us are a work in progress. And anyone today who is trying to enter paradise by way of works via the narrow gate will be denied access.
Jesus opened wide the new Flood Gates of Grace to capture you and me-all the Jews and Gentiles in the world. Without Christ as your Savior, there is the Narrow Gate of the Law for you to contend with. The Narrow Gate of the Law is still in existence. If you seek to enter into the narrow gate of the Law or works, the Lord will say” I do not know you, depart from me and He was speaking to the Jews in general and the Jewish priesthood when He taught them in the streets of Jerusalem in NKJ Bible, Luke13vs25, 27 and the Jewish Priesthood always knew that Jesus was talking about them in all His parables as in Matt 21vs 45
There is also the narrow gate and the wide gate of destruction that Jesus spoke about in Matt 7vs12, 14. In verse 12 Jesus was talking to the Jewish prophets, the Jewish nation in general about the Law with respect to entering the narrow gate as well as the wide gate of destruction in verse 13,14. Jesus did not explain that parable from verse 13 to 14 or the parables in this commentary as He has in other parables. Jesus was referring to the wide gate of destruction as being the Gate of Hell. He was referring to the narrow gate as being the Law which made it impossible to entering into Paradise by fulfilling the Law or through works.Jesus was saying It’s harder to enter Paradise through the Law, this small window, this narrow gate. It’s much easier to enter Paradise through Grace, through Jesus Christ.
And the Gate of Hell is open wide to anyone, be it an atheist, agnostic, those who could care less about the afterlife and the list goes on and on and Hell has no requirements for entering-come as you are. The Law, the Narrow gate, has the requirement of fulfilling the Law to enter into Paradise. Who can fulfill the Law? It's hard, the window is so narrow and “Many are call but few are chosen” as Jesus stated.
But the Gate of Grace is wide open- it’s not narrow, there is no Law to fulfill. And it’s open wide to everyone, be it a murder, a thieve, an adulteress and the list goes on and on and the only simple requirement for entering into Paradise is accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. These gates do exist. Yes, the Gate of Grace is wide open to everyone, both Jews and Gentiles-who believe in Christ Jesus as their Savior.
In summary, over the years many Christians have been taught by pastors and teachers to believe the prevailing view about the Narrow gate as being Jesus and the Lord has over the years given me another understanding about these parables. Yes, it’s much easier to enter Paradise through Grace than it is by way of the Law, this small window, this narrow window and that’s what Jesus was talking about. Jesus was saying It’s harder to enter Paradise through the Law, this small window, this narrow gate. When Jesus said, “Many are call, but few are chosen,” Jesus was talking about the Jewish priesthood and the Jewish nation "As Few Being Chosen." He was not talking about Christian Believers.
I am just presenting this new view of the parables for Pastors and Believers to consider, accept and to mull over in their spare time as well as having a new view of the parables to teach and share with others. Regardless of your views or assessment of my interpretation about these parables, continue to go on doing what the Lord has call you to do-whether it’s sharing the gospel message of Christ, feeding the poor, praying for the sick, caring about your earthly family and the family of God in your church.
Lou Barreto, An Original Commentary Publication, December 22, 2014, Kingdom Come Publishers