“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the
A while back it was reported in the media that the world's richest man (worth almost 70 billion) recently completed building his new one billion dollar home. Many of us would be repulsed by such extravagance, but not all billionaires are so focused on self. In another news report, an American businessman donated the sum of one billion dollars
Jesus is reply is simple: no one; at least, no one operating on human strength or initiative. Salvation is, from beginning to end, an act of God. Jesus uses an exaggerated metaphor to prove his point when he says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the
Human have limitations, God does not. If salvation were a human act none would be saved because by nature and will it is an impossible task. It is God who takes a willful sinner and places her on the narrow pathway towards heaven. Whatever difficulties the believer then encounters on her path to heaven are to remind her to despair of her own strength and abilities and to flee into the sovereign and merciful hands of God, to whom nothing is impossible [d].
[a] Matthew-Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, p 252
[b] Babylonian Talmud, tractate Berakot 55b.
[c] Craig Blomberg, Matthew – New American Commentaries (Broadman, 1992). Compare Gundry (Matthew, A Commentary on His Life and Thought), p 390.
[d] David Dickson, A Brief Exposition of the Euangel of Jesus Christ According to Matthew, 1647. Comments from Chapter XIX, verse 26