There are a number of sobering scripture passages, but perhaps none more so, than Jesus’ description of the wide and narrow ways that people choose to follow in life.  Matthew 7:13-14 tells us that the broad way leads to destruction and the narrow way leads to life.  In the parallel passages in Luke 13:24, Jesus told His disciples to “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”  This passage clearly indicates that a large number of ‘followers’ of Jesus will fail to enter the way that leads to life.  In fact, Jesus addresses this in other scripture when He says “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 7:21)  This invariably invites us to ask the question, what is the will of God the Father?  Will is sometimes thought of as desire and when we consider what God’s desire is, there are a number of items that qualify for His will, His desire (i.e. Romans 12:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:18).

Jesus gives us another bit of insight into the will of God in a routine event found recorded in Matthew 12:46ff.  He has been teaching the multitude and at one point an individual comes to Him with the message that His mother and brothers were outside, seeking to speak to him.  In the discourse between Jesus and this messenger, Jesus asks a profound question, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?”  Then, with a casual gesture toward His disciples, Jesus tells this person “Behold, my mother and my brothers.  For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matt 12:50) 

Upon closer examination we can clearly see what Jesus is telling us in this event.  First, His spiritual family, those He is not ashamed to call brethren (Heb 2:11) are those who do the will of His Father.  Just a moment before He said this, He identified His disciples around Him as His family.  Do you see the connection?  Those in His midst, in His presence, are doing the will of the Father much like Mary choosing the one thing needed in Luke 10:42.  Where does that put those not taking the time to spend with Jesus?  Perhaps you remember the individual who strives to enter the narrow door that leads to life and is not able to?  Yes, it is truly sobering to think few are those who will find the narrow way that leads to life.  Certainly gives one cause to think!

Copyright © 2010, Nolan P. Rutter

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