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Eye of a Needle

“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." Mat. 19:24


ave you ever threaded a needle?  It used to be easier for me.   I often did it for my mother.  Never easy mind you, but easier.  Some people think getting into heaven is easy. I suggest they think again.  Now it is harder for me to get the thread through an almost impossibly small hole.  It takes concentration, determination, dexterity, precision,  and desire.  Golfers may boast of a”hole in one,” even some tailors may have a reputation when it comes to needlework, but no one ever threaded a needle by accident.  Watch someone the next time they attempt to thread a needle.  They place the string in their mouth to moisten it.  Like a captain commanding his troops they discipline the  unruly filaments to a point by rolling its end between their fingers.  Then they delicately grasp it by the neck, steady their hand, hold their breath, cock their head and squint.  Perhaps ever-so-slightly, they bite their tongue which sometimes can be seen just barely protruding  from the side of their mouth.  Then they try to drive the little arrow into the bull’s eye.

When Jesus talked about men going to heaven, he used the eye of the needle as an illustration of the difficulty involved  (Jesus often used commonly familiar elements to teach spiritual truths).  Getting a thread through the eye of a needle is not easy.  Easy believe-ism is.  Jesus made it harder when he described how hard it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  He reached, not for a thread, but for a camel.  What ever that was (hole in some wall, or whatever) the idea is that getting men into heaven is not as easy as some people make it.  Jesus described something that seemed almost impossible. 

Jesus said “my Yoke is easy.”  He never said getting us to heaven would be.  The eye of the needle and the thread came together at the vortex and violent  place of the cross.  But even as He passed through first, He made it clear that in order for a man to follow and enter into the Kingdom, he must go through a  “strait gate.”  To say some “magic” words, call it a profession and then dance on Broadway is hardly the salvation Jesus Christ paid for or pointed to.  Jesus said “narrow is the way which leads to life eternal.”

Not the rich, but the poor in spirit find their way through the needle’s eye.   The humble somehow fit through the narrow gate.   Real believing involves a bending or a bowing of the spirit.   Real faith is trust, it’s  trusting Christ to bring us through.  “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.“  Real faith has feet.  Real faith follows.  Real faith need not be a thick rope or cable, but merely a thread which is willing to be but a stitch drawn by Grace into the tapestry of God’s sovereign will.