Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say to you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
I. A CURIOUS QUESTION.
1. This question, though curious, is very natural.
(1) Natural to pry into the future.
(2) To desire to know the future spiritual condition of mankind is most natural.
2. If such an inquiry was proper at all, it was proper to make it of Christ.
(1) Because He knew all about it.
(2) Because He would readily answer it if best.
II. THE MASTER'S ANSWER.
1. Not satisfactory to the curiosity-seeker.
(1) This fact deserves careful notice.
(2) This fact a direct rebuke to all mere curiosity-seeking. This applies to science, art, literature, and religion.
2. Christ's answer most satisfactory to the real inquirer after truth.
(1) Because of its eminently practical character.
(2) Because of its stirringly earnest character.
(3) Because of its solemnly warnful character. This warning implies
(a) the possibility of self-deception on the part of professing Christians;
(b) that self-deception will not exonerate any from condemnation in the day of judgment;
(c) that the condemnation of all workers of iniquity will be irreversible.
(4) Because of its delightfully encouraging character to all true Christians.Lessons:
1. Christ ever raised the practical above the theoretical. So should we.
2. Christ ever raised the spiritual above the secular. So should we.
3. Christ ever raised the substance above the form.
4. Christ here reveals the reason of men's aversion to true godliness.
5. Christ here plainly declares the irretrievable misery to which such aversion inevitably leads.
(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.