Going Through The Eye Of A Needle

the eye of a a needle

How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God! (Luke 18:24)

Read: Joshua 15:1-63, Luke 18:18-43, Psalm 86:1-17, Proverbs 13:9-10

Relate: Jesus said that it is more difficult for a rich person to enter heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Now I have heard an illustration about there being a gate in Jerusalem called the needle gate and it was so small that for a camel to go through the merchant had to strip everything off and crawl through on its knees and… baloney. The story sounds great but it is not true. If you happen to be reading this and you are a pastor or teacher, please check your facts and don’t repeat stories like this.

I have also heard that Jesus was talking about how people would make rope from camel’s hair but that the hair was too thick and they had to unwind it in order to… malarkey. This one is also just as bogus as the one before it. Jesus was using a figure of speech that was common in the Jewish world. It is a metaphor. There are two differences where in Jewish Talmudic literature coming from further east they talk about an elephant going through an eye of a needle. In Babylon, where these passages were written, the elephant would have been the largest animal seen. In Jerusalem, few if any would have ever seen an elephant. The camel would be the largest animal they have seen. Jesus was using a metaphor to say that a rich person going to heaven was the next thing to impossible.

React: How rich are you? Have you ever looked that up? I am in the top 7% of the richest people in the world. Where are you? Check here:

You are rich. That’s the bad news. The good news is actually a third use of the metaphor that can be found in ancient Jewish literature. In the Midrash Rabbah, we read: “The Holy One said, ‘Open for me a door as big as the eye of a needle and I will open for you a door through which may pass tents and camels.’ ” It is like mustard seeds and moving mountains. No matter how rich you might be, there is still hope. Give to God your “needle’s eye” worth of faith and He will make a way for even a “fat camel” like you to get to heaven.

Respond: 

 

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16 thoughts on “Going Through The Eye Of A Needle

  1. Reblogged this on pastorwardclinton and commented:
    I also contend that the reaction from the disciples tells us something very important. The disciples were of the mindset that if it was impossible for a rich person to enter heaven then it was at least doubly impossible for any of them to enter heaven.
    Jesus knew they had that understanding and He did not dissuade them of it because it reflected exactly what He wanted them to understand – apart from The Christ no one makes it, rich or poor.

  2. Thank you so much. I was searching for this solution. POC Bible has manipulated it as “like a coir through the needle hole”. And I strongly protested. Thank You.

  3. Pingback: Going Through The Eye Of A Needle | Daily Bread

  4. Interesting… I wonder, have any of you considered the distinct possibility that by “riches”, Christos meant a whole lot more than just material fame, fortune, and glory? In my understanding, this passage is highly symbolic in nature and cannot be understood literally. It, in no way, advocates the forsaking of “riches”; rather, it explains something related to the sacrifices necessary to pass through “the eye of the needle” – which is something I will not venture to explain at this particular juncture. “The eye of the needle” certainly relates to “heaven”, but… it’s not what you think. It’s far more complicated. To explain what it means, a great many other things need to be explained as well. Now is not the time. IMO, we ought to spend more time living the commandments of Christos – a love of God and a love of man – rather than pondering on matters that are beyond our ken.

    Thanks for your time,

    Sincerely,

    Todd J Burton

  5. We can’t help the culture and time we are born in.. And the magnitude of worldly riches… Measure yourself not be materials and then worldly riches do not matter… To have as a tool and understand its place is part of the demonic challenge of today..
    Challenges are always their for us to sclale and surface… And each climb is a pleasure and gratitude of its own..
    Peace be in your reach!

  6. I’ve always accepted the gate theory since Nehemiah talked about the “dung gate,” the “pool gate,” etc. In any event, I agree that Jesus was using it as an example of how hard it is. Praise the Lord, it is possible! With God, all things are possible.

    • I would have to look up the details but that “theory” has been thoroughly disproven time and again. It is really more urban legend than theory.

  7. Reblogged this on RCG and commented:
    Today I wanted to share another great post with you from Christian blog; two rivers. By reading, relating, reacting and responding to the post, discover how hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God and along with much more.

    I hope you enjoy reading their post, and if you do, I recommend you check out their blog, where they upload daily devotionals; there are over 975 devotionals available to read for free today.

  8. Dr. George M. Lamza is my source for having correctly interpreted this teaching of Jesus: The Aramaic word ‘gamla’ can mean ‘camel’, a large ‘rope’, or a ‘beam’, according to its usage (in context). So a literal interpretation is more accurate using rope and not camel. Right, there is no such ‘gate’ usage. Mt. 19:24 is correctly referring to a rope, where Mt. 23:24 refers to the camel. (Ref. Gospel Light, Harper Collins, 1964, page 117.)

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