In the previous article we asked the question "Can a rich man enter the kingdom of God?" and quoted Mark 10:25: "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."
A young man came to Jesus with a question:
Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" (Mark 10:17)
First of all Christ told him that no one was good but God!
- "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God" (Mark 10:18).
And then He repeated to him the Commandments and acknowledged that the young man knew them and of course he agreed, "You know the commandments:.." (Mark 10:19)
- And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth." (Verse 20)
Christ then told him to give up everything he had and give it to the poor and to follow Him.
- “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross,(burden) and follow Me" (Mark 10:21).
But, the young man had much wealth;
- “But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Verse 22).
"And the apostles were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved? But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:26).
Was Jesus telling them that it was impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom? NO, He said it was impossible for men to be saved without God! Without God we cannot save ourselves! Our riches will not save us! But, God is able to save us as long as we trust in His riches and not our own!
"Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1Timothy 6:17)
Many explanations about a camel going through the eye of a needle and its meaning have been written:
- “For the last two centuries it has been common teaching in Sunday School that there is a gate in Jerusalem called the eye of the needle through which a camel could not pass unless it stooped and first had all its baggage first removed. After dark, when the main gates were shut, travelers or merchants would have to use this smaller gate, through which the camel could only enter unencumbered and crawling on its knees!” www.biblicalhebrew.com/nt/camelneedle.htm
But actually there is no evidence of such a gate, not even a record of the architect who was reprimanded for not making a gate large enough for a camel and his rider to pass through unhindered.
Some of these stories include ancient inns with small entrances to stop or hinder thieves, another of a mountain pass that was known as the “eye of the needle” because it was so narrow that those entering would have a problem with getting their camels through without dismounting and therefore becoming an easy prey for bandits waiting for the opportunity to rob them.
But, is this what God was talking about?
God was speaking about a miracle. He said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. God can do anything and He could make a camel go through the eye of a needle, but man can’t!