Among those who believe in the gospel message, the goodness demanded therein should be so common we are not overwhelmed by seeing people live it out properly. Sadly, even among religious people, those who truly stick to the path are few. That is the heart-breaking reality of Matthew 7:13-14. The road that leads to eternal life is the road less travelled. It is not due to a lack of incentive at the end of the road, so why is it that most people refuse to walk in God’s ways and lay hold of eternal life?
First, it is a road which is difficult. Jesus made it clear the gate to the way of godliness requires intense effort to enter (Lk. 13:24). Furthermore, the road to which it leads and upon which one must remain is difficult. It is not God who makes the road difficult to follow; it is the allure of sin and the pressure from opponents of the Way who make it so (Mt. 10:34-39; Acts 14:22; 2 Tim. 3:12). People want things to be easy. Staples understood this part of human nature and advertised their products and services with their trademark “Easy Button.”
Second, the broad way requires absolutely nothing but to fulfill whatever current desires one possesses. Why would someone sacrifice pleasures to travel a difficult path? From an earthly vantage point, this makes no sense. People naturally want to follow the path of least resistance, and the wide gate leading to the broad way is just that. We want what we want how we want it, so anything which seems restrictive to us is difficult to accept. Another advertising ploy seized on this inclination as for years Burger King sold their products by granting people to “Have It Your Way.”
Finally, pride makes changing paths almost impossible. To leave the broad way for the narrow way is a tacit admission of one’s failed choices. It requires a great deal of humility to admit we chose foolishly. Adding to this difficulty, those who have travelled the broad way with us take offense at such a conclusion. The reason is simple: if it was foolish for me to travel that path, it is likewise foolish for everyone else. 1 Peter 4:3-4 speaks to this reality saying, “In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.”
The only option for those who have been raised up with Christ is to “…seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1-2). Are you willing to sacrifice the temporary pleasures of the world for the eternal peace of heaven? If so, then get on and stay on the road less travelled.