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Perea: What Camels Can’t Do

Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard

“How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:24-25).

They must have laughed when Jesus said it.

Camels can’t go through the eye of a needle. Totally impossible. Not just difficult but totally, absolutely, 100% impossible.

Equally absurd is the idea of a rich man going to heaven

We are more like the rich young ruler man than we would like to admit. Many of us would secretly agree with the fellow who said, “It doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or poor just so long as you have a lot of money.”

We must not try to wiggle out of this. When Jesus says the eye of a needle, he means the eye of a needle. Like the needle you do sewing with. When he says camel, he means a big camel that you ride across the desert. He says, “Look at a camel and the eye of a needle. It is easier to get a big camel through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to go to heaven.”

Why? Because rich people trust in their riches. A poor person says, “If Jesus doesn’t come through for me, I’m sunk.” A rich man says, “If Jesus doesn’t come through for me, that’s okay. I’ve got my pension. I’ve got my stocks and bonds. I’ve got my options. I’ve got my golden parachute. I’ve got my safety net. If he doesn’t come through, it doesn’t matter. I’m taking care of things myself.”

But even rich people can be saved if they will give up their trust in their riches. Money can do many things, but it can’t take you to heaven. Once you realize that, you can be saved.

This leads to two simple yet profound conclusions:

First, as long as you make money the measure of your life, you will be empty and unfulfilled.

Second, whenever you stop trusting in money and turn your life over to Jesus Christ, then and only then will your heart be satisfied.

Use your money but don’t fall in love with it. That’s the message for today.

Gracious Lord, you have already provided everything I need. Thank you for a salvation that cannot be purchased with silver and gold. Amen.

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Originally published March 21, 2015.

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