Considering these two ways described by Jesus above, I have always thought of the wideness or narrowness in terms of size and related ability to accommodate few or many people. Lately however, I have thought of another perspective of looking at narrowness vs wideness and that is in terms of specificity and generality.
Narrowness by reason of specificity:
When one considers specificity as a way of understanding this narrowness, that is the point at which the path of following Jesus departs from Christianity as a religion. The narrowness / specificity of each of our lives can be understood in two ways:
On the one hand, no two human beings of all those born will have the exact same life experience while on the other hand, there is no other way provided by God , the Father to make Himself known to mankind apart from by His only begotten son, Jesus Christ . Combining these two aspects of specificity, the path becomes really narrow, in a sense tailor made for each individual.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14:6)
“Before I created you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart; I made you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer 1:5).
The challenge for each of us is to find that narrow path tailor made for each of us, which is first narrowed by the fact that it is in Christ alone, and then the fact that the Father leads each of us very specifically through the unique relationship of Parent-child. Once the first aspect is taken care of, we will become aware that there were works prepared for each of us to do before the foundations of the world. That is the place of ultimate fulfillment, where every member of the body fitly joined together in the body supplies their part.
My encouragement to everyone who reads this is to consider that their path is narrow because no one else can walk their path to the letter. There is a cost to depart from the camp and follow your Lord outside the camp, but it is worth every bit.
I sign off with some words from a commentator in the movie, “Do You Believe?”
“I am not sure any of us gets to see the whole picture, God’s eye view so to say.” It’s like we are little children sitting on the floor, gazing up at back side of the tapestry that is being woven. To our eyes it sometimes looks ugly, the colors are jumbled and none of it makes much sense , but one day, we will no longer be sitting on the floor, we will come around to the other side and the genius of God‘s handy work will become clear. At the center of it all we’ll see the cross…
But in that immense tapestry , we will also see the single unique thread only one of its kind and color that our life has added to the piece, the one thread without which the whole would somehow be incomplete. Personally, I can’t wait to see the master piece”
The Lord grant us eyes to see and ears to hear.