THE NARROWNESS OF JESUS

Jan 20, 2021 | Gilbert’s Podcast

PREVIOUS EPISODES

The Sincerity of Jesus |episode 3

by Gilbert Kimeng | Jesus the Same

The Poise of Jesus |episode 4

by Gilbert Kimeng | Jesus the Same

About This Episode

THE NARROWNESS OF JESUS

  • The use of the word often comes with a negative or damaging connotation to one’s reputation – in our modern speech
  • In no such sense as this was the man of Galilee narrow.  But what word will better express one of the conspicuous traits of Jesus than just this word “narrowness”?
  • He set definite boundaries for himself; he shut himself up within contracted limits – in this sense he was narrow.

How narrow was the circle inside of which he did all his work?

  • He lived his life in Palestine, a little country no larger some small states within a country like Nigeria or the US etc.
  • It was an obscure and rural country, small in territory and insignificant in prestige, and yet the Prince of Glory confined himself to this little corner of the earth.
  • He might have given his message to a wide circle of men whose influence covered many lands; but he rather chose to stay at home, to give his time to the cities of Galilee, to pour out his strength on the villages of Judea.
  • For thirty years he remained in the dingy obscurity of a carpenter’s shop, and the country upon which he poured out the full wealth of his brain and heart was only a carpenter’s shop among the palaces of the earth.

ONE THING

  • If his field was contracted, so also was the character of his work. He only tried to do one thing.
  • Jesus confined himself to the one thing which he believed his Heavenly Father had given him to do.
  • Men did not understand such narrowness. They were always urging him to swing into a wider orbit and do something which would create a greater stir.
  • There are a thousand things which need to be done and yet which no man, however industrious and noble, can perform.
  • Jesus set limits to his activity, and beyond those limits no man ever persuaded him to go.
  • All along the way men tried to divert him, but he could not be diverted. To Jerusalem he must go. He had a baptism to be baptized with, and he was pressed in on both sides, and there was no relief until his work had been accomplished.
  • When he talks to men about the two ways, one of them narrow and the other one broad, he is speaking out of his own experience; and when he urges men to choose the narrow one in preference to the one which is broad, he is only saying, “Follow me!”

ONE WAY

  • In the realm of the intellect Jesus chose the way which was narrow.
  • There is a feeling now prevalent that it is unwise for a man to confine himself to any one religion or any one particular statement of belief.
  • With this sort of philosophy, Jesus of Nazareth had no sympathy. To him certain conceptions of God were true and others were false; certain estimates of man were correct and others erroneous; certain standards of duty were uplifting and others degrading; and with all his mind and soul and strength he clung to the true and combated the false.
  • He never shrank from holding clean-cut opinions and from expressing them with vigor and emphasis. He was not afraid of being called intolerant or a bigot.
  • He made a clear distinction between falsehood and truth, and was not ashamed to stamp upon the former and proclaim boldly the latter.
  • He came to bear witness to the truth, and for that reason he was not broad enough to give a place in his heart to falsehood.

RIGHT AND WRONG

  • This same narrowness comes out again in the limited range of things he approved. There were some things he could praise, and there were others he was obliged to condemn.
  • He did not wear a universal smile. He did not group men together as though they were all alike.
  • He made distinctions and he taught other men to make them too.
  • He did not minimize the heinousness of sin by treating all men alike. It makes no difference to some of us whether men are honest or not, or whether they live filthy lives or not; but it made a difference to Jesus.
  • In all his judgments on the lives of men, he pursued the narrow way.
  • One of the notes of Jesus’ life was joy. Could he have been happy had he not walked within narrow limits?

ONE FOCUS

  • It is only when a man picks out some particular little sphere and says, “inside of this I purpose to work,” that real life begins and his heart learns the art of singing.
  • It is when a man picks up in his hand a definite, tiny task and says, “This is the thing to which I shall devote my life,” that the shadows vanish and life becomes worth living. It is the narrow path that leads to life.
  • Jesus’ work was definite. At twelve he knew the business to which he must give himself. There never was a day on which he allowed himself to be swayed into doing something else.
  • Right here is where we are prone to blunder, and it is at this point that we should look for the root cause of much of the disquiet in our souls.
  • If you want to see a man who sings at his work, look for him inside of a narrow circle.

THE POWER OF FOCUS

  • Jesus made an impression because he stayed in one place, and hit the same nail on the head until it was driven completely. Had he wandered over the earth speaking his parables, they would have fallen into more ears but would have molded fewer hearts.
  • By staying in Palestine and keeping his heart close to a few chosen hearts, he became increasingly influential so that the authorities were frightened, fearing that he might overturn the nation.
  • Similarly, it is when our life, by some sorrow or calamity or fresh responsibilities, is compressed within a narrower channel that it takes on interior richness and gains a significance which it never had before.
  • To succeed is to do the thing for which we were created. Jesus attempted to do one thing only, and that was to perform the work which his Father had given him to do.
  • At the end of his life he could look into his Father’s face and say, “I have finished the work which you gave me to do.” It was indeed time that the Father should glorify the Son!
  • Jesus’ life on earth covered only thirty-three years, and yet he did the greatest piece of work ever accomplished on the earth.

“FOLLOW ME”

  • Jesus walked the narrow path, and he calls men everywhere to become his followers.
  • He is narrow for a purpose. 

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