Eye of a Needle

DaySpring Writing Ministry – The Single Eye

needle eye


MAT 19:24  Again I say unto you, It is easier for a rope* to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

(Lamsa Translation,  From the Peshitta Aramaic Manuscript of the Syriac Christian Church of the East)

*The Aramaic word gamala means rope and camel.

“It is said that for the most part Jesus and His disciples spoke Aramaic and that many of the sermons were first preached in Aramaic.  The example of trying to put a rope through the eye of needle is a simple, but powerful illustration.



Is Jesus talking about the basic salvation here, or is He speaking about a higher level of attainment and perfection in the kingdom of God?  To understand this, we must understand the context in which it is spoken.
Matthew 19:19-26 (for context)

It is not easy to thread a rope through the eye of a needle.  To do so, there must be much stripping away, until it seems that our life hangs by just a thread.  But, if the Most High is watching over the process, that fragile little thread is stronger than the largest and strongest steel cable that we can imagine.  We may think that we have been forgotten and forsaken because that little thread seems so fragile, but nevertheless it is a thread that God will not let break.“


15 thoughts on “Eye of a Needle”

  1. I have never heard of that linguistic twist of ‘rope’ being a homonym for ‘camel’. It makes a lot of sense and inserts a whole new meaning to the passage. Thank you for your insight.

    1. Hi David,
      thanks for your thoughts as well.

      I’ve also heard that the eye of a needle referred to a very narrow gate/entrance where the rider had to dismount and remove all loads from the camel in order to enable them to pass through ‘the eye of the needle’.

      So in both scenarios it involves the stripping away or removal of all things that burden/hinder us…

      Have a blessed day!

      1. That actually happens to me on here a lot. Somebody will say something and I simply have never heard it, or heard of it, and it sends me out looking. There are a lot of things written about that particular quote, did you know that? Volumes and volumes. And not everybody agrees, go figure right?

      2. I think it’s good when that happens Wally, as it shows we’re really learning from each other.

        One of things to keep in mind is to never discount one revelation due to another.
        I’ve learnt from this author as well, that there are different levels of revelation, as well as revelations for the body, mind/soul and spirit.

        One of the things I’ve come to understand and love is that a mystery is not something that cannot be known; but rather, a mystery is something that continuously unfolds to reveal deeper levels of knowledge – or revelations, if you will. There’s always more to learn.

      3. Indeed, the learning from one another is one of the reasons I really like the fellowships we have among ourselves here. God’s Word is often mysterious and hard to understand to us, and other takes on it are quite useful.

        Although, as a rather hardcore Baptist, I would not personally use the word “revelation” to describe what we get, as in my mind that conjurs up some disturbing images of extra Biblical revelation, counter Biblical revelation, and revelation considered to be equal with Scripture.

        I rather like something like ,the enlightening of the Holy Spirit.


      4. LOL at your aversion to the word “revelation”.
        I’ll try to remember “enlightenment” when speaking to a Baptist 🙂

      5. You know. We ARE extremely serious about Doctrine. At least the American Baptist Association, of which I am part, is.

        It’s a good thing, but sometimes not as much. I can’t even explain really.

        We are often accused of being dogmatic, and we are. I am. Just ask me. It is good, in that The Faith has to be defended against the creeping inroads of false teaching. In that sense, being overly dogmatic serves a purpose.

        On the other hand, we might possibly be mistaken on some things. I am pretty sure not LOL, but it could happen.

        The issue becomes when doctrine becomes an idol unto itself, which can become a form of legalism in itself.

        I believe that one say we will be evaluated, not for our belief, as that question is settled here and now, but for what we believed as well. Or, at least for the zeal with which we pursued the truth.

      6. I’m lol & smiling at your passionate/zealous defense of the ABA doctrine.
        I believe in the (zealous) pursuit of truth we have no choice but to pit or measure our doctrine to what the word says and see if it stands the test.
        The word will always be the ultimate standard of measure. It has not and cannot be changed. A doctrine on the other hand, can.

        As you know, I firmly believe in healing (I’ve witnessed this myself), raising the dead, casting out demons.
        (I have second hand knowledge of these).

        The only difference with our beliefs in this particular area is our limitations. I will ‘do things’ you won’t because you don’t believe you can. That’s all.
        I put ‘do things’ in quotes because no one can heal the sick, raise the dead etc. It’s the very Spirit of Christ within us that enables us to do so.
        We are His body, and his representatives/ambassadors here in this earth realm… & this is how we bring kingdom presence to those without knowledge of how the kingdom operates.

        I found James’ testimony about his father very powerful & especially his reference to one of my favorite songs: “There is Power in the Name of Jesus”
        The reality is, this is not just a phrase but a very deep and abiding truth. The very first time I was used to heal someone, I left and kept repeating: ‘You are real… there is power in the Name of Jesus’… I always refer back to that very first moment, even when on other occasions I don’t ‘see’ what I’m expecting. But I know the word works… and I also know, first the blade, then the ear, then the corn in the ear.
        This is just to share a bit of my reality.

      7. Thank you for sharing the my friend. It’s actually nice to be able to talk about a thing that we aren’t really in tune on and learn about another’s views without anybody screaming “heretic” at them. Like anything like this, the extremes and abuses on both sides of issues like this make those more in the middle look like kooks by association.

        Yes, that story of James’ was really something. It made the thrilled for him, yet sad also. My father, also one, never got to hear me share Jesus with him. Of course, I was quite the pagan when he was alive. But, how I wish he had lived long enough to hear it from me.

        My whole family is sad for me. Not my current one, my “real” one. My dad died lost, my mom probably is, and my kids are as well. The kids really hurt, because they learned their rejection from me.

        Sorry, that was off topic. But it was on my mind.

      8. Haha! You read my mind with regards to labeling other believers with somewhat different views than ourselves “heretic”. [I thought about writing it… but didn’t].

        I find that Jesus is very compassionate and patient with all people – not so much with self-righteous religionists.
        Who would want to align themselves to anyone/group after being labeled a “heretic” by them for not believing as they do.
        You said it exactly right! – those in the middle seem like ‘kooks by association’.

        Regarding people dying ‘lost’… I hold to the view that on this side, we really don’t know, because no one knows in those moments before death what transpires. I’m not saying everyone chooses Jesus as their Lord & Savior; however, there are many who chose to make Him Lord in those very final moments.

        I don’t think your mom is lost. She believes wrong -like most believers – that she earns/merits her way to heaven.
        This only affects the believer in terms of their walk with Christ. They are “up” when they feel they’ve done ‘good’ and “down” when they feel they’ve done ‘wrong’. Living a life of uncertainty, Certainly not the way Jesus wants us to live.
        [If death reigned through Adam… HOW MUCH MORE do we have life through Jesus].

        I think as a group, one of our focus should be on simplifying the gospel as much as possible so people truly “get it”.
        Tell her: only those who are “good” go to heaven. BUT, ONLY God is good.
        As Michael Ramsden puts it – so tell her, her application to join the trinity has been rejected.
        What to do… what to do…
        Since only God is good, and only He can go to heaven, we have to align ourselves with Him put our hope & trust in His goodness. That’s our ticket lol.

        Jesus wants your children to experience His kingdom much more than you & I . So just keep praying as though it’s already done. “Father, I thank you for sending righteous influences into their lives that have allowed them to come to know, understand and be a beneficiary of Your grace.”

        When things take longer than we expect we tend to get discouraged. But if you could see the end of the story and know that in 2-5 years they’d be in-Christ, you’d be giving thanks right now.

        I used to read the CNN religious blog and there was one guy there who just kept using theological terms… all the “-tifications” etc. I had a good laugh when one day a non-believer basically told him no one understands his theological terms.

        Don’t worry about ‘off-topic’… I’m quite good at that.

      9. Thanks for the reassuring word but I have my doubts. Relying on our works affects more than just our walk with The Lord. If we are relying on that to obtain our salvation in the first place then we have an issue. I do hope she did have it right once and now just has gotten misinformed.

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