“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God,” (Matthew 19:24, KJV).

How often have you wished you would hit the lottery? An old Jewish proverb was common in Jewish writings to express great difficulty or impossibility. In the large gates in city walls where small narrow ones, each called the needle’s eye through which a camel enter kneeling down if he were unloaded. Many have used this to express that was what Jesus truly meant when he made this statement. The trouble with this thought is that it is not true.

The earliest known “evidence” for a gate of this stature is found in the eleventh century- -eleven centuries after Jesus’ statement recorded in Matthew. There really was not a needle’s eye gate back during Jesus’ time. Besides, what camel driver or camel would even go through such contortions when larger gates were available for use?

Just as it is impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, it is impossible for a man who only puts his trust in riches, to enter into the kingdom of God. While it is impossible for man to save either the rich or the poor, God can save and has saved the rich and the poor, because, “God is not a respecter of persons,” (Acts 10:34, KJV).

To the rich, salvation is possible but difficult, which is why the Apostle Paul encouraged us to, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth,” (Colossians 3:2, KJV). Where do you set your affections on things above or on the earth? Jesus chided Peter and told him, “Get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man,” (Matthew 16:23, ESV). Do not let the things of this world control your mind. You might just become too big for your own riches. Think about Matthew 19:24 the next time you are tempted to buy a few lottery tickets!

“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God,” (Romans 8:7-8 ESV).

Pastor's Corner Striking It Rich