Enter through the narrow gate

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    • Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

  • Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.

  • Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.

  • How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few

What does it take to reach the summit of a difficult mountain, or to reach a particular destination on a lengthy hike? What does it take to sail across a sea?Is food enough? Does simple physical strength meet the requirement?Or to cross an ocean it it enough to simply have a boat? In crossing a glacier does one run across the surface haphazardly ?NO! Ascending a mountain takes a required amount of planning, plus training, plus a thorough knowledge of the terrain and routes.The same with trekking or sailing. Food and strength might suffice for a short time but the hazards of the route would eventually lead to a persons demise. Haphazardly running across a glacier would certainly result in falling through a crevasse.Even the experienced hiker would tread slowly and fearfully.Each of these requires going through a narrow gate and following a precise path. While in difficult and adventurous situations, most participants in an outdoor adventure would take the time to prepare for their quest. The joy in the adventure is successfully accomplishing the goal, whether it be reaching a summit or sailing across a sea, or navigating a wilderness journey. How many though put the same effort or thought into a simple day? In the ordinary experiences the dangers are not always threatening in appearance, yet does that mean they do not exist?What is more dangerous, a hazard that is marked WARNING!, or a hazard that is labeled WELCOME! ENJOY! “How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.”
In reading the four lines of this short teaching of Jesus, the last two lines just described are the easy part to explain; though not nearly the easiest to follow.Take for example now the first two lines. Do not give what is holy to dogs. Dogs are a common reference to enemies . For Jews of the ancient world,”dogs” might be the gentiles.Line two: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.” This is a line from Holy scripture. The question implied is then , how should you treat a dog?  How should you treat your enemy? “How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few….”

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