And yes, I would be interested Gabriel, but only if it's not too much trouble.
No trouble, though I apologize for the tardy reply.
Matthew 7: 13-14
"Christ then urges His followers to enter though the narrow gate
, even though it is narrow
and thus difficult to squeeze through. Through it alone is the way leading to life
. They must avoid the temptations to enter through the wide
gate, even though the way through it is spacious
, for it is the way leading to destruction.
"Christ answers by telling all who would saved to enter through the narrow gate
of discipleship to Him. Opposition from the Pharisees may make it narrow
and so fraught with difficulties that few are those finding it
, but it leads to life
. Those who reject Him, choosing popularity over truth and wealth over poverty, may find it easier in this age. Indeed, that way
and is easy to travel, and the gate
and easy to enter, and for this reason many are those entering through it.
Yet, for all that, it leads to distraction
Matthew includes this question and response here because it forms a fitting introduction to Jesus' warning against the false prophets, the Pharisaical teachers, which follow it. Let those who would be saved enter by the narrow gate, and pay no attention to the words of the Pharisees! They lead men astray, as did the false prophets
of old. (From comparing the parallel in Luke 6:39-44, which is concerned with the Pharisees, the "hypocrite" of Luke 6:42, we see that the Pharisees are the subject of this passage in Matt 7:15-20 also, and that the "false prophets" of 7:15 refers to them.) The Pharisees' teaching might sound pious enough, but it leads to spiritual death in the end. Inwardly, their teaching makes them as dangerous as ravenous wolves
, even though they come to you in sheep's clothing,
using their piety to mask their true nature."
Taken from Fr. Lawrence Farley's Commentary: "The Gospel of Matthew: Torah for the Church" Pages 105 and 106.
There are many ideas and religions competing for our attention. Some of them are more attractive and compelling than others. Many of them will indeed contain bits and pieces of the truth, making them seem less dangerous than they are. It seems to me that when we read something from another faith tradition that seems to square up with our own, it tends to make us let our defenses down a bit and make us more susceptible and accepting (I am reminded of some of our topics here that deal with "mixing" or "integrating" other teachings with Orthodoxy.) It's easy to get caught up in something else, especially if we have dear friends who belong to other traditions and/or another tradition catches our fancy. But to turn our backs on ALL else is indeed narrow (how often are we Christians accused of being "narrow minded"?. In light of this passage, maybe that's not such a bad thing.) To become a disciple of Christ, He says, will cost us everything.