Blessed… Through the Eye of a Needle

 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you that it will be very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.  In fact, it’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.” When his disciples heard this, they were stunned. “Then who can be saved?” they asked. Jesus looked at them carefully and said, “It’s impossible for human beings. But all things are possible for God.” Then Peter replied, “Look, we’ve left everything and followed you. What will we have?” Jesus said to them, “I assure you who have followed me that, when everything is made new, when the Human One[f] sits on his magnificent throne, you also will sit on twelve thrones overseeing the twelve tribes of Israel. And all who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or farms because of my name will receive one hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first (Matthew 19:23-30, Common English Bible).

“…it’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.” The sentence seems to be absurd, especially if we are attempting to take things literally. Of course it is impossible for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Unless, that is, one considers this picture:

Supposed-Eye-of-the-Needle-in-Jerusalem

This picture is of the narrowest gate into old Jerusalem. It has always been known to local people as “The Eye of the Needle.” It was the fastest way into the city. But fast did not mean it was without risk. This “gate” into the city was so narrow a camel could barely squeeze through, if you first removed anything that hung from the camel’s sides. Because you must first remove the cargo you took a risk as it presented thieves with their best chance of stealing your belongings.

When I sat down to start writing this blog I had every intention of saying that this was what I believe Jesus was speaking about when he made the statement that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle…” As I write, I am realizing it is not what I believe at all. To go through this city gate, though difficult and dangerous, it is possible. That would mean I could have the Kingdom, both in the present and in eternity, by the things I do. It would be possible, though extraordinarily difficult, for me to do this on my own.

That is just bad theology. I, all of us, stand in need of God’s grace. We cannot do this on our own, just as we can’t push a camel through the eye of a needle. But, what is impossible of us, is very possible for God. We cannot do things on our own. We need the grace of God.

Where are the places you try to do things on your own instead of depending on the grace of God?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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