‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God… It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:23, 25)
Many times I have heard people quote vs 25 about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter heaven. They would say, “see…God wants you poor because the rich can’t make it to heaven.” Or, they would refer to some historical place in Jerusalem-a crack in the wall called ‘the eye of the needle” saying it’s easier for a camel to go through that crack in the wall than for the rich to inherit the kingdom of Heaven. But what exactly was Jesus saying here? If we read the section of scripture in full context we see that wedged in between verse 23 and verse 25 Jesus makes this statement, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God.” Here Jesus makes no distinction about the rich or poor, in fact he references everyone, stating it is just flat out hard to get into heaven no matter who you are. The disciples, flabbergasted over His response then ask ‘if this is true, who can be saved then’? This is very important because later on in the first part of verse 27 Jesus states that ‘with man it’s impossible to get into Heaven’ whatsoever! Jesus is saying it’s impossible to get to Heaven. No way, no how, not happening! Well wait a minute! How can that be? Didn’t Jesus die on the cross to remove all our sins so we could go to Heaven??? Yes He did, but that was later on in the story. You must remember that Jesus hadn’t died yet. He hadn’t ascended into Heaven yet! No one was singing ‘Oh the blood of Jesus…” because Jesus’ blood hadn’t been shed yet! It is very important when reading the Gospels to understand they are a transition text between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Much of what Jesus taught was comparing and contrasting the old (or current while He walked the Earth) with the New (what was to come after His ascension). Up to that point, Jesus was making it emphatically clear that no one could save themselves. No one. The prophet Isaiah stated ‘All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” This didn’t just mean filthy like something that is dirty-this meant ‘defiled’ rags, unclean, or such as come from a putrid sore.
Here is the key though…and it’s the 2nd part of verse 27. Let’s read the whole verse now. “With man this is impossible, but not with God; with God all things are possible.” Praise God! Do you see? Jesus is foretelling what is to come. He is saying that yes, with man there is no way, no how-but with God…oh with God, it IS possible! Jesus was speaking of His future death and resurrection! His conquering and future forgiveness of sin so that man could be saved. Rich men, poor men, all men!! All people!! Praise the Lord! Let us rejoice today that we have access to such a wonderful salvation and go on to tell others that they too can be saved!
Will you tell someone today?