Words from the Heart for Monday May 24th, 2021
Yes, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.
Matthew 19:24 (ERV)
The Eye of the Needle
The first quilts arrived in Canada with immigrants to “New France” in the early 1600s. These settlers brought as much bedding, clothing and fabric with them as they could carry. There was always a shortage of fabric, needles and thread in the early days because it had to be imported from Europe. For this reason, thread and needles were part of the dowries of the “filles du roi”, young women sent from France to marry the male settlers.
The Kingdom of God always turns the principles of the world on their head. In Jesus’ day, the rabbis taught that wealth was a sign of God’s approval, and the rich were blessed of God and therefore the most likely candidates for heaven. Jesus uses a conversation with a wealthy man to turn that theology upside down. In Matthew 19:24: “Yes, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.” Jesus often used hyperbole to make a point – taking a plank out of your eye and swallowing a camel. Here he uses hyperbole again to drive home a very important point: it is impossible for anyone, even a wealthy person, to be saved on his or her own merit. Because of this man’s wealth, he was blind to his own spiritual poverty. This is so much the case in our materialistic and self-sufficient society. The man Jesus is speaking about here is so proud of his wealth and accomplishments he is as likely to bow his knee before the Lord as a camel is to go through the eye of a needle. Don’t let that be said of you.
These have been words from the heart.