“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.” MATTHEW 7:13-14
Many theologians and religionists have attempted to kill the message of Jesus for motives of profit and power. For the most part they have been successful. By attributing our character defects to the realm of sin they have brought countless repentant followers to the confessional booths or the altar railing seeking a reprieve from a condemning God. For some parishioners there is an implied monetary or physical penance.
Imagine the freedom we can achieve if we view Jesus, the man and the teacher, as he truly was. He was not an ascetic punishing himself daily for being human. He thoroughly enjoyed life. He thrived upon being another human amongst a brotherhood of men and women struggling to survive under Roman and Judaic bureaucratic control. He loved a good party. But most importantly, he did not pass judgment based upon the defects inherent in all of mankind. He urged a better way, a self-less way, a way which would lead to personal freedom coming from within.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. JOHN 14:6
Within the powers of reasoning and logic which are God-given, what if we translate this ambiguous verse as follows:
I am the way: I am the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through truth and life.
Religionists and theologians who base the exclusiveness of Christianity as the only “true faith” on John 14:6 obviously will shudder with horror and will refute this translation which would subsequently force them to question the literalism and inerrancy of their scriptures. We all are faced with a personal choice to either accept the teachings and preachings of the church fathers as written in stone or to embrace the freedoms with which our Father endowed us to THINK.
Perhaps we need to visualize the “narrow gate” as a:
“life of simple living, altruism, non-violence, and peacemaking.” https://cac.org/category/daily-meditations/
and not a moralistic, ego-based attitude of religious asceticism.