Then Jesus said to his followers, "I tell you the truth. It will be very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, I tell you that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
— Matthew 19:23-24 NLT
The radical nature of Jesus' words is found in two attempts through the years to soften them. Some later texts of this passage have "rope" instead of "camel" (they look and sound somewhat similar in the original Greek). Later speculation led to the myth of a gate in the walls of Jerusalem called "The Needle's Eye." Neither of these is true. Both, however, reveal how hard it is for an affluent culture to hear the radical demand of Jesus' words.
Jesus is emphatic: it is extremely difficult for the rich to embrace the radical call of discipleship in the Kingdom of God. But, salvation does not depend upon our ability, but God's generous grace. From our vantage point it is impossible. The key point for us, however, is to be reminded about the dangers of wealth and possessions. They can become our God, our stumbling block, our choking point, our diversion, and our downfall if they become the thing we cannot give up to follow Jesus.
Only living and almighty God, I want to worship you today with my will, my words, and wealth. Please help me to use the incredible blessings you have poured into my life for your glory and the blessings of others. In the name of Jesus, the greatest of all gifts, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- 1 Tim. 6:6-11
- Phil. 4:11-13
- Luke 8:7, 14
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.