Jesus’ warning is so troubling that (rich) commentators have claimed it was a gate in Jerusalem that required a camel to hunch down to make it through. But this explanation originated in the Middle Ages when scholarship wasn’t too good. There is a gate in Jerusalem called “the eye of the needle,” but it was built 1,000 years after Jesus walked the Earth, so He couldn’t have been referring to it.
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. — Matt 19: 24.
But really the eye of the needle is just that: an eye of a needle. It turns out that Jesus loved hyperbole — a rhetorical device of extreme exaggeration to highlight the importance of the saying.
So what is Jesus saying? First, riches can make it very hard for you to make it to Heaven. Second, if rich people are particularly difficult to get saved, God can save even them.
With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. — Matt. 19:26.
So the stern warning is also a herald of how wonderful Christmas is, how wonderful salvation is. The rich king (wise men) came to see Baby Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Reblogged this on Gabriel Karam Kassab.
Great post. I preached the camel through the gate illustration yesterday: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/the-eye-of-needle-giving-all-to-jesus/, Perhaps this illustration is wrong! Thanks!
I kinda wish I were preaching too.
Maybe one day again soon!
Great post. I always thought it was exactly that, a needle. It was actually only several years ago that I heard about this so-called ‘gate’ in Jerusalem that was named, ‘the eye of the needle’? I must admit it made me think and wonder there for a moment? But you know what, if there was a gate that a camel could actually get through, even my kneeling, that would mean that even a man could go through it? So what would be the miracle of that? So it had to be something that only Jesus could do. And you hit it spot on!
I’m a bit afraid there’s a lot of people who won’t be so open to the truth of this matter.
Reblogged this on chrisaomministries and commented:
Here is another viewpoint on the Eye of the Needle article I posted yesterday. Maybe they are right, and I am wrong on the camel having to be hobbled on its knees to go through the gate. In any case, we agree that only Jesus saves! Only His death, burial and resurrection from the dead provide forgiveness of our sins, salvation and eternal life! There is no other way to heaven…
Beautifully stated and I love the pic, it speaks volumes!!!
Yes, I stumbled across the pic from somewhere. It speaks volumes, as you say.
Thank you for sharing this post!
Our culture often equates material prosperity with God’s favor, so it would be easy to assume that a rich individual must have a prominent place reserved in the Kingdom. It is my understanding that even in Jesus’ day, this was a prominent view.
Jesus’ statement can be especially confusing for those of us who would be considered relatively poor according to westernized standards, yet be viewed as enviably wealthy when placed alongside much of the world’s population.
While it is sobering to realize that material wealth can be a hindrance to placing faith in Christ, it is encouraging to know that God is capable of renewing our hearts so that we can love the things He loves.
And also it is comforting to know that lack of worldly wealth will not prevent anyone from gaining entrance to the Kingdom 🙂
Yes, I lived as a missionary in Guatemala for almost 16 years, by comparison with my friends in the States in pretty bad poverty. But by comparison with the Guatemalas, I was rich. It made me learn a lot about life.
I like that the small door outside of the city was not developed until after Jesus walked. Although God is timeless, I am sure he meant many things by this. How could one pass the dromedary through the eye of an actual needle? This passage is also a metaphor. What would be the purpose of a needle that a camel could pass through? G-d’s mind is beautiful, I thank Him that we all have the honor of peering into it.
Not everyone wants to hear the truth on this
I am with you on this, Mustard. The eye of a sewing needle is the only way the metaphor works.
Lets assume that absolutely everything in the Bible is truth and is in there for a reason. Lets not assume, Lets put on the breastplate of faith and know that it is.
If our boss brought in the hump day camel from those commercials a while back, handed us the rope attached to its bridle and told us to pass the camel through the eye of a needle, How would we do it?
I’ve often wondered if their were needles to sew cloth in BC and AD times, or were garments woven to suit and not constructed. Great post. Thank you
Genius the person who madevit