Matthew 7:13-14,  the narrow way

The concept that we can live two ways, one leading to life and one to death, was widely recognised in Judaism. Most people appreciated that you had to choose between the two, but assumed that, provided they did nothing bad, they were on the path to life. Jesus stood that general expectation on its head.

Death comes easily, just do nothing and you will quickly discover how soon its minions overtake you. Poverty will come upon you like a thief, bringing along its companions famine and sickness. By contrast, you have to work at finding life. The way to do so, Jesus suggested, did not involve simply taking the easy options (the wide gate), nor just following the crowd (the broad way). Walking the restricted way involves seeking out God’s will for every circumstance and being prepared to go through the narrow gate of difficult decisions to make it happen.

People are easily put off from finding the way that leads to life by the effort involved. Yet whatever pursuing life costs, in the end that has to be better than the alternative of destruction.