13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
VERSION ®. NIV®. COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
In this passage, Jesus gives us two choices. First, by faith, we are to choose between two gates: the narrow one and the wide one. The wide gate is easy but leads to destruction, while the narrow gate is hard but leads to life. Then, we are to choose between two types of teachers: those who teach in accordance with God’s Word and those who don’t. Jesus teaches that to discern false teachers, we are to consult Scripture and test the fruit of a teacher.
- To what or to whom do you look for salvation apart from Christ?
- What role does faith play in entering through the narrow gate?
- Why is it important to be aware of teachings that are contrary to Scripture?
- Jesus’ call to be aware of false teachers is a call to maintain the balance between condemnation and being naively accepting. What does it look like to maintain that balance well?
To view a downloadable version of these discussion questions, please click the button below.