Bible Questions and Spiritual Discussion

   
Through the Eye of a needle
Ref: today's reading from Luke . I was told a few years ago that 'The Eye of a Needle' was a gate into the city that was used by the tax collectors to ensure that nothing was sneaked into the city. It was exactly the size of a camel - with no baggage - So if the camel wanted to enter the city he had to remove everything that it was carrying and go through the Eye of the Needle. I have found this a really useful idea ( I haven't been able to verify this)
In Luke today 'Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” It is not impossible - just get rid of everything you are carrying. and it makes more sense when Jesus asks the man to leave all his riches.
Just an interesting (unverified) piece of information

Karen Combrink 04/17/2012 02:41

Replies:
Craig from Illinois 04/17/2012 07:30

I recently heard that exact same explanation. I know who told me that but I can't remember their reference. I've always wondered why Jesus would use an absurd analogy of a sewing needle and a camel! The "small gate" theory makes much more sense. Thanks for reminding me.


Tom B 04/17/2012 09:11
Thanks. I had never heard that description, but i like it.
Mike Mead 04/17/2012 11:00
I have also read this explanation and, although it makes sense in human understanding, it falls short. In this explanation, humanly, we can enter the kingdom on our own, if we would oly work hard enough and give up enough. In jesus teaching, He says that the only way to God is through Himself. There is no work that we can do to accomplish this. For a camel to go a gate is not impossible, yet Jesus says that it is impossible to accomplish the feat that He is referring to. I think, more likely, that Jesus was making an impossible comparison to show the power of God ad the inadequaticy of man, like choking on a gnat and swallowing a camel.
Mike Mead 04/17/2012 11:04
I have also read this explanation and, although it makes sense in human understanding, it falls short. In this explanation, humanly, we can enter the kingdom on our own, if we would only work hard enough and give up enough. In Jesus teaching, He says that the only way to God is through Himself. There is no work that we can do to accomplish this. For a camel to go a gate is not impossible, yet Jesus says that it is impossible to accomplish the feat that He is referring to. I think, more likely, that Jesus was making an impossible comparison to show the power of God ad the inadequaticy of man, like choking on a gnat and swallowing a camel.
Ray 04/17/2012 14:29
I always liked the fact that a few verses later salvation comes to the house of Zacchaeus, a rich scoundrel.
Davidwayne Lackey 04/17/2012 23:00
I've heard this before too Karen but I have to agree with Mike. The description you quoted does not fit the context of Jesus' message or with the rest of scripture. It is impossible for any to be saved by their own power and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It is possible for the camel to go through the gate without help. The needle Jesus was referring to is probably the needle used to sew tents or clothing. It is why the disciples asked then who can be saved?


Mar 10:25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"
Mar 10:26 The disciples were astounded. "Then who in the world can be saved?" they asked.
Mar 10:27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God."

Craig from Illinois 04/18/2012 20:30
That makes sense David. Thanks for that clarification of context.
John T 04/20/2012 18:42
That's a good analogy. I like it, having to shed all our baggage. Sort of like in Pilgrim's Progress where his burden falls off at the cross.
GodB4Me 05/24/2012 22:11
Great Stuff here as usual..... thanks all...
sharon 07/04/2012 12:24
I have heard the same thing, except that the gate was actually a small narrow passage in the rocks, and the camel actually had to get on its knees and crawl through, of course, minus all the baggage...
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