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Friday, March 18 2016
Matthew 19: A Camel Through The Eye Of A Needle
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God"
The "chief priests and scribes" were well-familiar with the prophecies of the coming Messiah (see Bethlehem In History And Prophecy and Why Did Isaiah Say The Messiah's Name Is Immanuel?; also What Did The Messiah Read From Isaiah That Day? and The Generations Of The Messiah). When He was born, they even told Herod where to hunt for Him (see Escape From Herod and The Rachel's Children Prophecy).
"2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Whether or not "the chief priests and scribes" realized that Herod intended to murder the Messiah is debatable, but their deadly opposition to Him after His Ministry began is incontrovertible. They constantly sought to have Him condemned, any way that they could, religiously or politically.
"19:1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; 19:2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.
The Messiah's example of children's humility was intended to contrast what the "religious authorities" had abandoned for themselves - although some, such as the Pharisee Nicodemus (to whom the Messiah gave the famous "born again" teaching; see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?) and the Pharisee Saul (who later was converted into the apostle Paul; see Paul's Blindness Lesson) did repent in their due time (see also What Kind Of Sinners Does The LORD Forgive?).
"19:13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
Many have sought to interpret the Messiah's famous "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God," but as plainly-stated, the teaching is about "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments." Those who love money more than anything, and will do anything to get it, are themselves the "camel" (see the Fact Finder question below).
"19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Fact Finder: Abraham was a rich man ("13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold" Genesis 13:2 KJV) who will be in the Kingdom of God ("13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out" Luke 13:27-28 KJV).
How can that be, in the light of "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God"?
This Day In History, March 18
37: The accession of Caligula, the third Roman emperor. The first two, Augustus and Tiberius, are recorded in the Bible (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Israel In History and Prophecy: Roman Judea).
235: Emperor Alexander Severus (official name Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander Augustus) and his mother Julia Mamaea were killed by Roman troops near Moguntiacum (modern Mainz), thereby ending the Severan dynasty.
978: English King St. Edward the Martyr was murdered at Corfe Castle in a plot by his stepmother who wanted her own son Ethelred made king.
1241: The Battle of Chmielnik; Mongols overran the Polish army in Krakow.
1286: Alexander III, 45, king of Scotland 1249-1286, died. He was the last major ruler of the dynasty of kings descended from Malcolm III Canmore (ruled 1058-1093), who consolidated royal power in Scotland.
1314: Jacques de Molay, the last "Grand Master of the Knights Templar," was burned at the stake.
1438: Albrecht II ("the Bear") was elected King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor. The official title of the "Holy Roman Empire" was actually the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1584: Ivan IV, the first czar of Russia, died. His cruelty and oppression earned him the nickname Ivan the Terrible.
1673: Lord Berkeley of England sold his half of the colony of New Jersey to the Quakers.
1834: In Dorset, England, 6 laborers were sentenced to 7 years banishment to a penal colony in Australia for forming a trade union. They became known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs.
1850: American Express was founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo.
1913: King George I of Greece was assassinated.
1916: On the Eastern Front during the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the Russians countered the Verdun assault with an attack at Lake Naroch. The Russians lost 100,000 men and the Germans 20,000 (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1921: The Treaty of Riga was signed between the U.S.S.R. and Poland. It fixed the Russian-Polish frontier. It gave Poland large parts of Belorussia and the Ukraine. The treaty was superseded by a Polish-Russian treaty of 1945.
1922: Mahatma Gandhi was sentenced to 6 years in prison for civil disobedience.
1938: Mexico nationalized all foreign-owned oil properties within its borders.
1940: Hitler and Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass in the Alps and agreed that Italy would eventually join the war.
1965: Russian Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov exited his spacecraft Voskhod 2 to become the first human to walk in space.
1965: King Farouk I of Egypt died in exile in Italy.
1967: The oil tanker Torrey Canyon was wrecked off the Cornish coast of England, spilling 919,000 barrels of oil into the sea.
1968: The U.S. Congress repealed the requirement for a gold reserve to back U.S. currency. The U.S. Dollar thereafter became only printed paper with a declared value.
1969: Richard Nixon began the secret bombing of North Vietnamese forces in Cambodia; it lasted 14 months. Nixon kept it a secret for domestic political reasons, the North Vietnamese said nothing because they didn't want the world to know that they were in Cambodia.
1989: A 4,400-year-old mummy was found near the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt (see also Jacob's Mummy).
1996: The Palestinian Authority (formerly known as the terrorist organization the Palestine Liberation Organization) renamed the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as the "District of Gaza" and the "Northern Counties of Palestine" (see Where Is Palestine? and Jordan's West Bank Invasion).