walk the narrow gate: who enters and who doesn’t

We have come to Matthew 15. This is a crucial chapter which depicts who enters the narrow gate, and who become the left behind by choice.

The Pharisees and teachers of religious law have focused on the external thereby missing entering the narrow gate to heaven:

Bible verses: 2 “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.” 3 Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?

The Pharisees and teachers of religious law are not really godly in the eyes of God. They get stuck in their traditions, as in the following rebuke by Jesus:

Bible verses: “And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, 8 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 Their worship is a farce, ” for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’”

Jesus called them defiled. How were they defiled? Jesus explained in the following:

Bible verse: “11 It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”

who are those who received the Kingdom of Heaven on earth from Jesus? Were they especially qualified in the human eyes? No. They were just ordinary people with needs for Jesus.

A Gentile woman. 28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

A vast crowd of sick people: They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all. 31 The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn’t been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking, and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.

4000 men and in addition, women and children: They all ate as much as they wanted. (32-38) feeding the multitude

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