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Archive for June 9th, 2018


Matthew 19:24: The Eye of the Needle

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Supposed Eye of the Needle Gate in Jerusalem, Israel

We know the story of Jesus saying that one must unload possessions before entering the kingdom; and the reference to “the Eye of the Needle Gate” in Jerusalem is a tempting one. Scholars do not agree on the translation between Greek and Aramaic so today we have the opportunity to ponder varying theories; yet, no matter the opinion, we have the gift of this image to ponder.

What does Jesus mean when he says it is difficult for the rich man to enter into the kingdom? What are the possessions we must jettison? And who are those who must unload the camel they have burdened with a heavy load?

When we consider the word possessions, we might imagine our worldly gain of property, objects and wealth. We might also consider our long-held beliefs, prejudices, or misconceptions. And we might reflect on the people we cling to or depend on more than we rely on Jesus. What have become the encumbrances we insist on owning and controlling?

Eye of the Needle Gate in Jerusalem, Israel

The camel we have encumbered might be close relatives or friends, colleagues or co-workers, communities or churches. Where have we placed the burdens we insist on carrying? Whom have we asked to share the encumbrances we insist on moving from place to place as we move through life?

Finally we consider the gate that stands before us promising prosperity and comfort just beyond our reach . . . the eye of the needle that asks us to winnow and trust . . . the slender door that blocks our line of vision forcing us to believe in someone who is just beyond our line of sight.

The load, the beast, and the door we want to transit. The elements of this image of the camel passing through the needle’s eye call us to evaluate our relationship with Christ and the world. They persist on urging us forward into the unknown. They present to us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, and the love Christ offers us today and all days.

Tomorrow, Jesus is the Light. 


To learn about the discussion regarding the translation of this verse, click on the images or visit  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/317926054924875118/  and http://dustoffthebible.com/Blog-archive/2016/07/17/5-popular-sermon-myths-that-need-burned-at-the-steak/

More about the discussion surrounding the translation of this verse, see http://www.biblicalhebrew.com/nt/camelneedle.htm 

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