Matthew 19 – Camels and Needle Eyes

Another chapter rich with Jesus’ teachings…

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t comment on verse 10:

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

However, for some reason, I never noticed before that it was the DUHciples saying this, not Jesus.  Hmmmm, that’s a game changer for me. I see Jesus response to their comment in verse 12b:

“The one who can accept this should accept it.”

One passage that I find myself continuously meditating on is the story of the rich, young ruler, found in this chapter in verses 16 – 24:

16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

17″Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

18″Which ones?” the man inquired.

Jesus replied, ” ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.'”

20″All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, 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.”

I can’t get my brain around Jesus last comment about a rich man and the eye of a needle. I’ve had some people since tell me that “the eye of a needle” is a treacherous pass in the mountains somewhere in the Middle East, but I’m not buying that. I think Jesus is making a strong point – and from the rich people I’ve met, I think it might be true. Really rich people generally don’t realize their need for God because they can buy whatever it is they need. And, when you have too much to let go, like the man in our story here, it’s extremely difficult to recognize the need for God.

Of course, I don’t have this problem! My financial situation requires daily help from my Heavenly Father. The good news for all of us, rich or poor, is the hope that comes next out of Jesus mouth:

26Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

God be praised.

peace,
e

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  1. #1 by Sarah on February 2, 2011 - 7:18 pm

    24Again I tell you, 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.”

    Go back and read what the rich man said, he said “22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

    The rich man “thought” about his earthly wealth, whereas the camel didn’t think, he just went through the eye of the needle.

    If the rich man didn’t think about his earthly wealth and just followed Jesus, he would have been even a richer man, but because of his thoughts he hesitated. The camel didn’t hesitate, he did what he was told to do, he trusted his master.

    Take care

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