The expression that something is like a camel through the eye of a needle is meant to show the impossibility of the thing under discussion. The likelihood that you could ever get a camel through the eye of a needle is so implausible as to be laughable. It is the height of impossibility and improbability.
However it also becomes sobering when you look at it from the Lord’s perspective. When He uses this phrase it is worth listening to because when the Lord describes something in these terms, and when we see what it is he is describing, we need to re-evaluate many of the things that are considered desirable and change our priorities.
What is this impossibility?
Jesus tells the disciples in this section of scripture that for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God is as likely as putting a camel through the eye of a needle. I suggest you re-read that last sentence. It is as likely for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God as it is to put a camel through the eye of a needle.
Why is this so impossible in the eyes of the Lord? What is it about riches that can be so detrimental to a man that he could fail to attain the desire of all Christians, which is to enter the kingdom of God?
The Problem of Riches
Money corrupts people. Paul writes, “For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
The problem is not the money itself as money is inanimate. It is the craving and love of money that is the problem. When people seek the riches of money and the wealth of this world their attention is divided. The love of money corrupts people and can lead them away from a pure devotion to Christ.
Knowing this, is this something that we should strive for? Should we seek the riches of this world? What about those preachers who teach wealth ministry and that the Lord wants you to be rich?
Wealth ministry is a lie. It is a trick designed to lead you astray and away from the Lord. The essence of this ministry is that the Lord wants you to be rich. They also say that you should be blessed by the Lord with the wealth of this world, and if you are not being so blessed there is something wrong with you or your faith.
What a load of rubbish! When Jesus makes it clear that the likelihood of a rich man entering the kingdom of God has about as much chance as putting a camel through the eye of a needle, how can anyone claiming to be a Christian accept a ministry that is the polar opposite of the Lord’s words?
Does God want you to be rich?
God wants to bless all of his people with great riches, but not the riches of this world. His blessings and the true riches are found in peace, joy, love, fellowship, grace and so on. These have nothing to do with money and the wealth of this world.
Certainly there were people of God in the Old Testament that these wealth ministers point to as examples of the Lord making them rich. They point to Job, Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, and others. But the promises of the New Covenant are not about wealth in this world. The wealth that awaits the people of God is heavenly wealth. Even those great men of the Bible were prepared to forsake their earthly wealth for the greater wealth on offer in the spiritual realms.
This section of scripture does show that those who are prepared to forsake the things of this world will be rewarded. Peter said to the Lord, “Lo, we have left our homes and followed you.” (Verse 28) Jesus answered him saying, “Truly, I say to you, there is no man who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive manifold more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Verses 29-30)
Those who forsake the things of this life will be blessed in many other ways. He does not promise wealth, but if a person has to forgo the things of this life, including friends, family and possessions, they will be richly rewarded with other blessings and ultimately with receiving eternal life. Surely that is greater than the temporary and illusory promise of money.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng www.sxc.hu/ taken by Riyas Hamza)