Second Thought

Looking again at news and commentary

The Christian Century

"Not long ago a Reform Jewish rabbi in Israel took a group of us through a side entrance to Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate. The low-level door swings open to reveal a narrow passageway which leads to a blank wall. Only after a sharp turn is it possible for one to proceed into the city. This entrance was a security measure, designed to prevent enemy horsemen from riding straight through.

"The rabbi suggested that the New Testament parable regarding the camel passing through the 'eye of a needle' could have just such a city gate in mind. There is no way, it seems, that a camel could make it through that intricate passageway. Of course, biblical scholars assume that Jesus' metaphor is meant to be taken literally. For a camel to pass through the eye of a needle is a physical impossibility; hence, riches are a barrier to the kingdom.

The glue that makes us stick
June 6, 1988

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