When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For 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.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” Luke 18:22-26

It’s such a natural response. “Then who can be saved?” When I read what Jesus says, I feel the same way. I despair. Camels are big and needles are small. That is, I was disheartened until I read what Jesus was actually saying. I used think that what Jesus meant was that, getting into heaven is REALLY HARD. That admission requires lots of contortions and stretching and pain… But that’s not what he’s saying at all, is it? Jesus is saying that it’s impossible.

But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

“with God.” In Jesus we have the ultimate Camel-through-needle-eye experience. In other words, God knows that, even though getting a crusty, dumb, depraved creature like me into a joyful, beautiful, peaceful place like heaven is harder than getting a big camel through a needle’s eye… he also knows he’s done more difficult things. He put himself, his boundless, abundant, radiating self, into a man.

“It seems, then,” said Tirian, “that the stable seen from within and the stable seen from without are two different places.”  “Yes,” said Digory.  “Its inside is bigger than its outside.”  “Yes,” said Queen Lucy.  “In our world too, a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.”  C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle 


~ by justinhong on May 9, 2012.

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