When you mention THE DOOR leads to the road of suffering, I am not clear which suffering you mean. There is also suffering on the wide road. I personally believe that the narrow way expresses our battle (helped of course by the Holy Spirit) of dying off to self, whether in the battle against temptations from Satan, or in the pains we feel when we hear and read about the false prophets in the Body. Jesus taught us (His disciples) to heal and deliver and give comfort and share the Good News of a life more abundantly, even on earth. Therefore, I assume that you mean with suffering, that suffering which is in our soul and spirit for the sake of Jesus, our Lord.
Your question refers to the study titled, “The Narrow, Uncomfortable Way” in the Sermon on the Mount. In Jesus’ illustration of two gates, two ways or two roads, one is wide and the other is narrow.
Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it. Matthew 7:13-14 (NASB)
Gates, Ways and Doors
Different translations use different terms in this parable. Most Bibles translate the Greek word pyle as gate or door. However, some Bible translate odos as way or road. Each gate or door opens to a road or way. The wide open way or road is comfortable and spacious like a highway. The narrow way or road is like a single lane road and few travel it.
The Wide Door
The wide door leads to suffering since it leads to destruction. The phrase “leads to destruction” refers to eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). It refers to hell or the Lake of Fire. Those who travel the wide, comfortable road have rejected Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord and are going to hell for eternity in the Lake of Fire (John 3:18; Revelation 20:14). Suffering on the wide road is the result of sin and rejection of Jesus Christ.
In John 10:7 Jesus tells us that He is the door. Then He uses the illustration of a shepherd and sheep. He is the Good Shepherd and Christians are sheep. A person becomes a Christian when they enter the “sheepfold” through Jesus Christ (John 10:9). That is, Jesus is the door of salvation. In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus uses the same concept. He is the narrow gate or door.
The Narrow Door
Suffering occurs after a person becomes a Christian. They suffer on the narrow road for several reasons. First, they must deny themselves (Luke 9:23). This involves humbling ourselves at the moment of salvation and after salvation.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 (NASB)
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Luke 9:23 (NASB)
Walking the narrow road also means that suffering is coming our way. Not only will the Father of heaven discipline Christians who continue in a pattern of sin (Hebrews 12:4-17), but real suffering will come to real Christians because they follow Christ.
And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Timothy 3:12 (NASB)
But whenever they persecute you in this city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become as his teacher . . . Matthew 10:23-25 (NASB)
In Matthew 10:23-25, Jesus warned His disciples that they were not greater than He was. If He suffered, they would too! There was not an easy road for them. The same message applies to us (Matthew 5:11-12). Real Christians will suffer. The narrow way includes suffering. The two Greek words Jesus used for the narrow way mean restricted and afflicted. Yes, God does have a wonderful plan for our life – the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus may not heal your marriage, fix your job, or give you wealth, but He will comfort us and cause us to grow spiritually.
The narrow way leads to Jesus, our salvation, and the wide way leads to the hell and the Lake of Fire. The narrow way requires complete trust in Jesus and results in more suffering in this life than the wide way. The wide way in this life is spacious and comfortable but leads its travelers to eternal destruction. That is the meaning of the wide and narrow way.
Suggested Links:The Narrow, Uncomfortable Way
The Door and the Good Shepherd
To The Glory of Christ
Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me . . . Jeremiah 9:23-24
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