“Easier for a Camel to Go through the Eye of a Needle”

Text: Matthew 19:23-26

This is one of the difficult statements of Jesus. It almost seems as though He is discouraging certain people from following Him (the rich). Yet this is not meant to be discouraging, but a warning. Riches are a potential danger to one’s spiritual well-being.

What Jesus Does Not Say

  • Jesus does not say that the rich cannot be saved – He came to save all (John 3:16); there were rich disciples (Matthew 27:57-60; Acts 4:34-35)
  • Jesus is not saying that riches are evil – the love of money is the root of evil, not money itself (1 Timothy 6:10); riches are blessings from God (Ecclesiastes 5:19)
  • Jesus also doesn’t explain the definition of rich – different people will define this differently; Jesus isn’t talking about how much money one has or what one’s income is; He is addressing an attitude about riches & the need to put spiritual things first

Riches Can Be a Hindrance

  • When Jesus says it is hard, but not impossible, for a rich man to be saved, He is warning us
  • Parable of the sower & the thorny ground (Luke 8:14) – initially received the word & some growth begins; but worries, riches & pleasures of life makes them unfruitful; too much focus on earthly things makes it easier to ignore spiritual things (Luke 12:15-21)
  • Warning to the Israelites regarding the rich blessings of the promised land (Deuteronomy 8:11-14) – attitude of arrogance, complacency, and being more concerned about earthly things than heavenly

How to Keep Riches from Being a Hindrance

  • Remember that all blessings come from God (James 1:17)
  • Remember that riches are temporary & uncertain (1 Timothy 6:17; Matthew 6:19) – besides this, when we die, any riches that we have will be left behind (1 Timothy 6:7)
  • Do good with your blessings (1 Timothy 6:18; Ephesians 4:28)
  • Recognize the greater riches that await the faithful in heaven (1 Peter 1:4; Matthew 6:20-21)

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