Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to 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.” — Matthew 19:23-24
Men, after Jesus has interacted with the rich ruler, He turns to His disciples and tells them “it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. The rich man could not give up his things to gain the one thing his heart needed most. He had made his things and his wealth his god. Wealth too often grants a false sense of security, importance, and even bondage.
Jesus goes on and says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God. There is some argument for a small gate called the “eye of the needle”. Perhaps, but I argue for a literal interpretation. The only way for a camel to pass through a hole that small is to break it down into its smallest parts and pour it through. It cannot pass through intact. The camel must die to its original form, use, splendor, value and identity to be liquefied and poured through. Once it passes through, there is nothing of the original camel which could then be self-sustaining.
Dying to self, self-sacrifice, humility, brokenness, wholesale surrender, are themes found elsewhere. Nowhere does Scripture say to wait in line and squeeze through a small space to find everlasting peace. Jesus is the narrow gate and we are raised to new life in Him.
“Raising to new life” means leaving behind the old life. Have you, sir, died to the old life of self-sustainment? Are you still propped up on your accounts, investments, assets, and provisions? Is there anything you couldn’t walk away from if Jesus asked you to?
Move forward, men, asking the Lord to search you and I out. Is there anything in our hearts hindering the Lord God from pouring us into a new form, a new life, and a new identity in Him?