According to Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus said: “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (TNIV).
We naturally take the wide roads, not the narrow ones. Jesus invites us to take the narrow road.
If I am taking a long trip south, I check the route on an Internet mapping program or on a GPS device. Every such program that I have used instructs me to take H and H Road, but I never do. H and H Road is almost directly across from my subdivision and it is definitely the shortest way to go if I am headed to points south. The problem is that the road is little more than a dirt path with ruts and holes and some pretty big puddles when it rains. Furthermore, H and H Road only trims maybe 1 or 2 tenths of a mile off the trip. So I take the nice, wide, hard surface Mount Pisgah Road instead taking H and H Road despite what the mapping programs and the GPS devices say.
I don’t know of anyone in my subdivision who routinely takes H and H Road. No sensible person would take that narrow road when there is a nice, easily accessible, wide road.
Jesus invites us to take H and H Road. The Lord invites us to travel the path that seems a strange choice to the prevailing notions of our culture.
Jesus told his followers to sell their possessions and give to the poor (Luke 12:33). He told us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). He said that, if someone strikes you on one cheek, don’t hit them back, just offer them the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). He told us to prize the lowly people of society rather that the prestigious people (Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 25:31-46). He said to give your shirt to the one who takes your coat (Matthew 5:39). He said to give to the one who asks you (Matthew 5:42), and to lend without expecting repayment (Luke 6:43). He said blessed are you who are poor, but woe to you who are rich (Luke 6:20; 24). He said blessed are you who are hungry, but woe to you who are well fed (Luke 6:21; 25). He said blessed are you when people hate you but woe to you when everyone speaks well of you (Luke 6:22; 26). He said blessed are you who weep now, but woe to you who laugh now (Luke 6:21; 25). He followed the path of the cross and he told his followers to take up their own crosses.
Do you see that following Jesus means taking H and H Road? He turns many of our values upside down. His teaching runs counter to the conventional wisdom of our society. Following him means being weird and most of us don’t want to be weird.
I guess that’s why we keep wandering over to the wide road.