FAQ :: What was the “eye of the needle”?

A rich man asked Jesus, “What is required for eternal life?  ‘Jesus replied, “Follow the commandments.'”

The man told Jesus that he had always kept the commandments and wanted to know what else was required. Jesus then told him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21). The man walked away very sad because he was wealthy. Jesus told His disciples, “And again I 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” (Matthew 19:24).

It has been suggested that “the eye of the needle” refers to a narrow gate in Jerusalem that a camel could just squeeze through–if the creature were not carrying any baggage. It has also been used to describe a short passage that a camel could only pass through on its knees.

I feel that Jesus meant exactly what He said. It is difficult for someone who is comfortable and wants for nothing — to put God first in his life. His wealth becomes his God. The disciples were amazed at Jesus’ statement and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus then told them, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

God is the factor who makes everything possible. With God in our lives, even the impossible becomes reasonable. Without God, no one has a chance to enter the Kingdom of God. You might as well try to pass a camel through the “eye of a needle.”