God's word in today's world

Through the eye of a needle

I saw a cartoon of two men pulling the elastic band of a very big slingshot. A large-eyed camel is replacing a big rock. On the other side the eye of a needle is sticking out of the ground. There are two more guys. One has a big sledgehammer and the other one an enormous drain. If the first two men let go of the slingshot, one has to try and hit the camel through the eye of the needle and the other must suck him through it. No wonder the poor camel’s eyes are so large. The subtitle: Yet another attempt to fit a camel through a needle.

The cartoon is obviously based on Jesus’ conversation with the rich young man who asked what he should do to find God. However, the young man couldn’t get his head around Jesus’ suggestion that he should sell everything and give the proceeds to the poor, so he turned his back and walked away. Matthew 19: 23-24 As he watched him go, Jesus told his disciples, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom? Let me tell you, it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.”

The needle Jesus is talking about here is not like the needle as depicted in the cartoon. I was confused by this for some time and could never understand how even a baby could ever get through the eye of a sewing needle.

The needle that Jesus is referring to, however, is a gate that gave entry to Jerusalem. It was called the Eye of the Needle. When the huge city gates were shut at night for safety reasons, people could still enter through the Eye of the Needle gate.

This gate was much smaller and travellers couldn’t enter riding their camels. It was so much smaller that the camels had to be offloaded and then struggled on their knees through the gate.

Therefore, it was not impossible for a camel to go through the Eye of the Needle, but it wasn’t at all easy. The same with a rich man. Certainly, it is not impossible for a rich man to enter heaven, but more difficult, yes. It is more difficult because of all the things that can seduce them from the road.

So, Paul warns Timothy exactly about this: 10Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.

Money is not everything. Money does not guarantee happiness. Money does not bring peace. On the contrary, it can steal you away from God. ’You can become so dependent on money and trust in it so much that like the rich young man, you turn your back on Jesus.

There is certainly nothing wrong with having a lot of money. God blesses some people with loads of money. Just make sure that you use it wisely. Make sure that money doesn’t become your boss. Do with it what God wants you to do. Work with it and bless others like you were blessed.

Then you will experience peace and joy.

1 Timothy 6:9-10

How do you work with your money?
How does money work with you?
Do you have to share something somewhere?

Lord, please help me to use everything You entrust to me according to your will. Please help me to depend on You only. Please help me share what You give me with others so that I can make a difference in your Kingdom. Amen.

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