Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What It Takes to Enter Heaven

"Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, 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." Matt 19:23-24

Sometimes it pays to really study the scripture to understand its true interpretation. I admit that I never truly understood the message in this setting of scripture, thinking “the eye of a needle” meant a sewing needle. Well, HELLO. Camels can't go through the eye of a sewing needle! Guess what I found out? (only for myself, I am sure, as all you probably already knew this). Sigh!

During Jesus' time, cities were surrounded by protective walls so that invaders, the enemy couldn't get inside. However, there were gates in the walls to let the people and their materials come in and out. The large gates were closed at night but in times of danger it was necessary to allow access to entry to a sparse number of people. Inside these large gates was a small door that actually let the people in and out at night. This small door was called “the eye of the needle.”

Where does the camel come in? Camels were used for transport of goods, and merchandise would be piled high. If a man came to the gates after they'd been closed and needed to enter, it was possible to go through and take his camel along, but it was very difficult. The camel's master had to take all the merchandise off of the camel, and the camel would have to go through the gate on his knees.

Hmm..could this be the picture of how we must enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Getting on our knees? Yes, it definitely speaks of humility. And come to think of it, the removal of all goods from the camel’s back speaks of us unburdening ourselves from thinking more highly of our earthy possessions than we should. Yes folks, nothing in this life is more important than us entering into our heavenly City someday.


Caroline said...

I didn't know that, thanks for sharing!

Kathy McElhaney said...

I knew what the eye of the needle was, but didn't know about the camel going through on his knees and needing to have the merchandise removed. I want to make it through the Gate.

Carol Connell said...

Hi Karen,

I knew about the eye of the needle too and about the camel having to kneel down to get through, but I never made the analogy about prayer, humility and having to unburden ourselves. So very true. Thanks for sharing.