“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
“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. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Understanding And Applying the Text
Here our Lord addresses justice. Men trample justice under their feet. And we do this knowing we violate another person. How? By placing our desires above the other person.
We demand justice when it benefits us. We desire and even demand justice when justice serves us. But when justice does not favor us, we seek grace and mercy. In fact, when we want mercy rather than justice we will call “injustice” what is just.
We are to give mercy rather than justice. The right to dispensing justice belongs to God. And God has authorized the civil authorities to act for Him. You and I do not have that authority. Our duty is to bestow mercy, not justice.
This summarizes the law and the prophets. This is not the whole law and prophets. We fulfill the second tablet of the law when we behave in this manner towards others. Here are all the precepts of charity.
Christ tells us we must walk along a narrow and difficult road. It is difficult to restrain ourselves. We desire wickedness, licentiousness, and disorder. But Christ promises a great reward. He tells us the narrow gate, and the narrow road leads to life. The road of ease and pleasure leads to death.
Many take the easy way. They follow the path of least resistance. You may have heard them say, “They can’t all be wrong!” Sorry. Yes. Yes, they can. And Christ tells us they are all wrong. Following the crowd is deadly. There is no safety in numbers.
It is not easy to go against the crowd. It is not easy to renounce the world. Again you may have heard some like this. “Why would God make it so difficult? If God wanted us to follow the narrow path, He would have made it easier.” The answer is simple. First, the question makes an incorrect assumption. It presupposes we are good or at least morally neutral. We are not good. We are not even morally neutral. (Romans 3: 9-20) Second, God did not make it hard. We make it hard. It is our nature to rebellion against God.