Jesus’ teaching about the “narrow gate” is a familiar passage for many Christians. His message is that entering the kingdom of heaven is not easy. Unlike the comfort of “walking on the broad road”, “entering the narrow gate” requires discipline, strength and bravery. In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus says simply “enter through the narrow gate” (Mt. 7:13). But in the Gospel of Luke there is much more urgency: “strive to enter through the narrow door” (Lk. 13:24). To read the original and to make a comment, click HERE.
The English word “strive” is not nearly as interesting as the original Greek word, which Luke uses: ἀγωνίζομαι (agōnizomai). This is a verb built on the root ἀγών (agōn), which means an athletic competition, such as a running race or a wrestling match.
He chooses this word because he wishes to convey the sense of pain and struggle which is required of those who chose to follow Christ. Paul, who authored his letters before Luke did his Luke-Acts, also used this athletic imagery of running the race and fighting the fight (1 Cor. 9:24-27; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7). Luke and Paul use this athletic term because they wish to show that the suffering endured by Christians today will be followed by triumph reserved for them in the future.
To read about Koine Judeo-Greek click HERE.