Eye of the Needle
Mark 10:25 ESV
From the Jar
I didn’t understand the importance of the eye of the needle until I went to Seminary. You may be aware of the meaning of the eye of the needle, but I’d not heard a sermon that used this particular verse.
The eye of the needle is a door.
It’s a really small door if you’re a camel.
In Mark 10:25 we learn, “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.”
So we know the gate (door) was an entryway into Jerusalem. Since it was small it would be very difficult, if not impossible for a camel that was fully loaded to enter into the city.
In Mark 10:25 the gate was compared to the Kingdom of God.
The question is, what did the camel that was fully loaded going through the narrow small gate have to do with a rich man?
As I write this I thought about how difficult it is for me to write when I have a lot on my mind. Because of that, before I write a blog post I take time to pray. I sit in silence with God. I listen. I wait.
I do the same thing when I’m doing an illustration for each post. I ask God to show me how to illustrate the point of the post.
Sometimes I see a picture and sometimes I see a drawing. I’ve been a photographer since 1988. I don’t have all of those photographs on my computer but around 2010 I started a database of digital photographs. Sometimes I think of a photograph I took years ago. My database includes pictures I’ve drawn for several illustrated books. If the drawing I see isn’t in one of those books, I create the drawing, digitize it, and color it in on my computer.
Each step of the way I pray about the illustration.
As I work through that process there are times when I “get stuck”. When I’m unable to finish (or even start) writing or an illustration, I know it’s probably because I am weighted down with concerns or worries I have about one thing or another.
When that happens I stop and set aside the writing or the illustration.
I ask God to “take” whatever I am carrying. I surrender it to God.
Then I wait.
I wait as long as it takes for me to experience God’s peace. Then I can write or draw.m
So, back to the rich man in Matthew 10:25. I’ve never been a wealthy person. For 30 years I was in ministry. The last 18 years of my life I started over from scratch. In 2004 I took a job working in a call center. It was an entry level position. I did gradually work my way up and I made enough to pay rent and necessities.
In my life I’ve known people who are wealthy.
I’ve seen how they struggle to make good decisions. Sometimes they have many decisions to make. If they have great possessions and wealth, they often have a lot to think about. I know people who have to intentionally balance their wealth with what God would have them do with their wealth.
I believe in the Gospel of Mark the rich man who had many possessions was being compared to the camel who was carrying a heavy load. In order for the camel to enter through the eye of the needle the owner would need to unpack the animal.
While it’s not impossible for the rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, he or she will need to unload the cares created by their great wealth in order to be able to hear God.
Just like I need to unload my daily cares when I write and do an illustration, the wealthy person will need to unload their daily cares to God. As they surrender their cares to God, they will come before God, not as a wealthy person, but as a person. They will come before God as a child of the King of Heaven.
Entering into God’s presence, really entering, means it’s just you and God. All of our possessions and all our cares go by the wayside.
Then, all that really matters is God.
That’s what the rich man finds when he surrenders his cares to God.
His wealth will not go to heaven with him.
Ultimately, when he or she stands at the gates and Jesus greets them with open arms, nothing else will matter.
I believe that heaven is more beautiful and peaceful than we can begin to imagine.
I believe that God’s love is greater than we can fathom.
I believe Jesus’ forgiveness and complete acceptance is greater than anything we’ve known on earth.
I believe seeing God face to face will make every care completely and totally disappear.
Every disease will be healed. The blind will see. The lame will walk. The deaf will hear.
There’s nothing exactly like it on earth because the Kingdom of Heaven is completely filled with the Glory of God.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Heaven
Set your cares aside and sit with God. Surrender everything extra you are carrying. Receive God’s peace.
In God, Deborah