The two ways

There are two ways of life. One is the easy way of pleasing self, which most choose and which leads to destruction. The other is the narrow way of denying self for Jesus’ sake, which leads to life (Matt 7:13- 14).

One reason why many do not follow the narrow way is that they are deceived by those who teach their own views on how people can find meaning in life. Their teaching at first sounds reasonable, but in the end it proves to be destructive. The teachers appear to be as harmless as sheep, but actually they are as dangerous as wolves. A bad tree produces bad fruit, and wrong teaching produces wrong behaviour (Matt 7:15-20).

Another reason why people do not follow the narrow way is that they deceive themselves. They think that because they attach themselves to Jesus’ followers they will enter Jesus’ kingdom. They may even preach in Jesus’ name, but if they have never had a personal experience of God through faith and repentance, they too will go to the place of destruction (Matt 7:21-23). If people hear Jesus’ teaching but do not act upon it, they are deceiving themselves and heading for disaster. They are like a person who builds a house that looks solid but has no foundation, and so is destroyed when the storm of testing comes (Matt 7:24-27).

The difference between Jesus’ teaching and the teaching of the scribes was obvious to all. The scribes referred to respected teachers of the past for their authority, but Jesus spoke on his own authority. The scribes could only repeat the regulations of Judaism, but Jesus interpreted the law with an authority that came from God (Matt 7:28-29).

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