Few there be that find it
Why did Christ say only “few” find it?
In studying the New Testament with a friend, we came across these verses:
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.Matthew 7:13-14
We began asking ourselves some questions… if Christ truly is the way to life and happiness, and His plan is perfect, why do so few people find it?
We’re not doubting our Heavenly Parents’ or Christ’s perfect love or Their perfect plan, rather we’re trying to understand how this “few there be that find it” fits in with Their plan.
…straight is the gate
and narrow is the way…
I’ve pondered more and talked with others about this since then and want to share some things that came to mind…
1. It’s about agency, not about the plan.
If we view this passage through the lens of agency, it makes more sense to me. It’s not that the path is set up to be hard to find, rather that it’s hard to choose to find and follow it, because it requires a lot…
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.Matthew 16:24
Denying ourselves and taking up our cross isn’t easy, so we often don’t choose to do it. Thus, using our agency to not do what it takes is what prevents us from finding the gate and the way. The plan is perfect, but we’re not.
Take up your cross
and follow me
2. This wasn’t easy for Christ to say.
It couldn’t be more difficult for anyone to say “few there be that find it” than for Christ. Because the “way” He’s referring to is Himself. He wants everyone to find it.
With that context, the beautiful thing is that He suffered infinitely for everyone even though he knew only “few” would accept His suffering. And He did that because He loves us infinitely.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.John 15:13
There is no greater love
3. A difficult path is necessary
It’s difficult for us to choose to follow Christ, and it’s difficult for Him to point that out. And it has to be difficult in order for us to become like Him.
I am convinced that [finding Christ] is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience… How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that [we] have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. [We] have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary. Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that… to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.Jeffrey R. Holland, Missionary Work and the Atonement
A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith 6:7
We follow the path
by embracing the difficulty
The path is difficult to find and follow — yes — but that difficulty is necessary. It allows us to become who we need to be before we return to Him.
Let’s make the “few” be as “many” as possible
It’s our privilege and responsibility to help as many people as possible find Christ. Whether in this life or the next, everyone will have an opportunity to accept Him, and let’s give everyone the best chance possible :)
My recent HWN has been learning new perspectives on Christ and on following him :)
p.s. just a couple quick highlights since my last post… I got to do an escape room with my family :)
And I got to be in the talent show again this year :) once as Gilderoy Lockhart on a dating game show (she chose Gumby over me :/) and once in the unveiling of Winder Tinder! (I’m in the “Winder” 2nd Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)