Parable of the Camel and the Eye of a Needle

—The Parables

“Bactrian Camel”

Luke 18:25

“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.”

“Camel’s head”

Luke 18:18–30

A. How do I get eternal life?

  1. Now a certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
  2. -29. Jesus’ Radical New Teaching
  3. [Jesus said people who did this would] …receive many times more in this age—and in the age to come, eternal life.”

B. The Cost of the Law

  1. Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
  2. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honour your father and mother.’”
  3. The man replied, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws since my youth.”

C. The New Obedience

  1. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me.”

Context

What shall I do to gain eternal life? v.18

This is how you receive eternal life! v.30

D. The New Obedience is Impossible

  1. But when he heard this he became very sad, for he was extremely wealthy.
  2. When Jesus noticed this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
  3. In fact, 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.”
  1. When Jesus noticed this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
  2. In fact, 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.”

D’. ...but Possible with God

  1. Those who heard this said, “Then who can be saved?”
  2. He replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

C’. The New Obedience

  1. Rich man told to leave everything and follow Jesus, but can’t
    • “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
  2. And Peter said, “Look, we have left everything to follow you!”

B’. The Cost of following Jesus

  1. Then Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of God’s kingdom
Old Requirements New Requirements
Don’t steal other’s property leave your own behind if Jesus asks you to
leave neighbour’s wife alone may have to leave your own wife
honour father & mother (care for them when old) leave them in response to a higher loyalty

A’. This is how you get eternal life

  1. …there is no one who has left…
  2. who will not receive many times more in this age—and in the age to come, eternal life.”

The Structure

Structure of Luke 18:18–30

The New Obedience

  1. He replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
  2. And Peter said, “Look, we have left everything we have to follow you!”
  3. Then Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of God’s kingdom
  4. who will not receive many times more in this age—and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Application

What are we to do?

The message is broader