the narrow gate…..a game changer. I was reading this week’s Brit Hadasha portion in Matthew 21 and 22. I found it interesting how Yeshua referred to the Law (Torah) and the Prophets together when making a point. I don’t really remember linking the two before for purposes listed below. It can also be found in Matt 22:40, Matt 5:17, and Matt 7:12. This brought to mind an argument(s) presented by non-Torah keepers, a.k.a. Lawless Ones, where Torah was somehow done away with. So I naturally asked myself (not really) “are the Prophets done away with too since Yeshua mentions them in the same passage(s); same context?” Not hardly! But for now I will holster my hollow point loaded, Messianic Apologetics .357, for the next time I get into a shootout with the Law-less Ones as this is not at the heart of this study. (Yes, this is original material even though I did spend ALL weekend listening to Michael Rood) It began and ended, focused on and illuminated by Yeshua in the Sermon on the Mount. Most of us awakened to Torah, realize Yeshua is explaining the Spirit of the Torah v The Letter in The Sermon. Towards the end of The Sermon in v 13 Yeshua says: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy  that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Instantly the light came on and a huge burden was lifted. It made sense. If we have been chosen by Him and we choose life (Torah), then the promise is it will be hard. And it’s hard like mining for gold; very few find it. But in a very real way, at the intersections of our lives, it’s hard like raising children, working at a marriage, writing a business plan, making a business plan work, getting the children ready to go to Shabbat, getting ready for Erev Shabbat, etc. All these are more than rewarding after accomplished.
As I began to share this with Jennifer, she pointed out she had done a word study a few years back on this passage. The word “narrow” was really more like “obstacles” with the understanding that “the narrow way” of a Torah observant life will be filled with obstacles. Everyone has obstacles in their lives. Often it is the same recurring one. The one that just will not go away. The one that’s there year in and year out. The hurdle we can’t get over. The one that causes us to ask “what are we doing wrong?” The one that feels more like a curse, but we know that can’t be right because we’ve been through the Mikvah process. For me this answered a lifelong quandary; and that is this….. They’re just obstacles. Not curses. Obstacles make us stronger. They are there for us to navigate around, climb over, or drive/push/pull/drag them out of the narrow way. His way. The only way. Asking ourselves and/or our brothers and sisters in Yeshua “why, why, why?” is not even germane to the Torah filled believer. Now, asking the “why questions” about the Lawless maybe germane. Like “why do they have the big buildings” and “why are they able to raise big money, have big homes, take long trips, while comfortably coasting?” Yeshua said the “wide gate is easy, leads to destruction, and those who enter are many. That’s really not that hard to understand.
Today I have come to understand and embrace joy of the journey; (Rabbi Messer told us this 6-7 years ago and I couldn’t receive it then) knowing its purpose will be served and with it, great reward! Anything worthwhile in life has and will cost us dearly; 1. either financially, 2. emotionally, 3. physically, 4. maybe even spiritually. For women it is 1. childbirth, 2. homeschooling, 3. enduring the poor decisions of their husbands, while waiting on YHWH to make them the men they were born to be. If anything is easily attained, it generally will have a diminished value v. something of great price. The fact that Yeshua said “the way that leads to life is hard and those that find it are few” makes it liberating! It lets us know that if we are coasting and comfortable in life, we’re most likely not on His Road of Torah, but possibly on the wide road to destruction. He’s telling us to count the cost, and its will cost a lot, but come at all costs.
So if you’ve been living Torah and fighting; even bloody, broken, and bruised, for what seems like the same fight for years, rejoice; you’re in the good fight! You didn’t do something wrong. That’s the evil report. You’re in the narrow way! Filled with obstacles of every sort; Baruch HaShem Yahweh; and your reward is closer than it’s ever been. It is written! Abba, we praise Your Holy Name; Yahweh Unrivalled! Yahweh the Magnificent! Yahweh the Great! Great is your mercy, as you have and are, allowing us to understand your purposes; while we’re still on the planet. Yahweh, your promises are even greater than your fame. Both strengthen and lead us into all truth, as we do our best to follow you, Yahweh Elohim. Le ‘olemei ‘olamim. Ameyn. Curtis Russell 12/17/2009