A Camel and a Needle
February 23, 2011 § 1 Comment
When the rich ruler comes to Jesus in Luke 18:18-30 with the question of what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus first reminds him of God’s commandments. This first response of Jesus sounds good enough for this rich man to believe that he has done enough to qualify. But then comes the sharp blow: “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor…” (18:22). That makes the rich man sad, because he knows he will not be able to sacrifice all his wealth to other people. Others around him who hear the conversation also think that makes it impossible for anyone to be saved. Which is exactly Jesus’ point: “…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” (18:25). Jesus is not saying rich people cannot be saved (there are many examples of saved rich people in the Bible), but that all people will find some or the other lack within themselves to qualify as saved. The point is brought home in Jesus’ words in verse 27: “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” All of us have this tendency to wanna pull ourselves up with our own bootstraps, but yet again we are invited to find ourselves completely dependent on God’s free gift of salvation in Christ.