Things to Consider by Roger Harding:
Once again in the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord, I thank all for taking the time to consider some of the harder to understand aspects of the Bible. As my mind wonders back to my youth a particular sermon comes to mind, as the preacher preached on the parable of the rich man starting with Mathew 19: 16 KJV As so many times Jesus was teaching the people, a young man came to Jesus “And behold, one came and said to Him Jesus Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And He said unto him, “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God: “Jesus goes on and tells him, to keep the commandments and the young man said that he had done that since his youth. The young man pressed on for answers then Jesus told him in verse 21 “Jesus said unto him, If thou will be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give it to the poor, and thou shall have treasures in Heaven; and come and follow Me. But when the young man heard that saying he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.” This particular verse caused me to believe that I should be poor in able to honor and please God. I did not get the true meaning of this verse for years. The best way that I can explain this saying of Jesus is simply, be willing to sacrifice earthly gain with a more excellent gift from God in heaven, but remember that there is nothing wrong in being rich, when you honor God with the riches you have. Verse 24 says “again I (Jesus) say unto you, 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.” Now verse 24 sealed it, I was to be poor because the preacher demonstrated with his hands showing how someone would put a piece of thread through the eye of a needle, then replying just how difficult it would be for a camel to go through the needles eye, I took that to be that no rich man would go into heaven, I didn’t realize that Jesus was using this illustration to make a point. That point being First, if we become wealthy in this world, we should not put the wealth before God, rather honor God with it, and give Him due recognition for our success in life, second, be willing to give up our earthly wealth for eternal treasures. One more aspect of the “eye of the needle” we miss today is that in the cities, of the time of Jesus, there was a wall around the city and gates to enter into. At night the gates would be closed, but beside the large gates there were smaller gates called “needle gates” that were tall slender gates that would require a traveler to have to unload his camel and the camel would have to get upon its knees and maneuver itself through the gate then the traveler would have to bring his goods through the gate and reload the camel. The passage through the needle gate was called “the eye”, this was a long and difficult procedure but not impossible to do. The final point, Follow Jesus, Trust Jesus, Believe Jesus, because Jesus is the “EYE” the only way through the narrow gate to eternal life. As always respectfully yours, Roger and Donna Harding, 472 Cr 4775, Timpson, Texas 75975.