Posted by: everynation | February 4, 2008

OUTRAGEOUS Sayings of Jesus

Ferdie Cabilingby Ferdie Cabiling

Instead of being mushy and just focus on ‘boy and girl’ relationships this Month of Love– February, allow me to go through other aspects of our hearts’ pursuits.

In conjunction with our new (preaching) series, we will be dealing with several ‘hard’ or shall I say ‘outrageous’ sayings of Jesus. To start with, let’s jump right in to the most difficult saying of all: The camel and the needle’s eye.

This encounter with ‘the rich young ruler’ gives a rich picture of the radical nature of discipleship. The impossibility of one’s attempt to save self or to enter heaven.

Fulfilling the laws of Moses cannot guarantee it. It can only point a person to the right direction, but it can not bring you to a lasting security. Now Jesus pointed out the real issue of the matter in the life of this man: a LOVE for the things of this world.

The Scripture tells us…

1John 2:15
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Colossians 3:1-2
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

There were attempts to tone down this hard-to-believe declaration of Christ. Some say that the ‘eye of the needle’ was a reference to a small opening, giving an independent access to the city. A visitor can dismount and get through the small entrance on foot but the camel, especially if it’s loaded, can’t get through. It must wait for the main gate to be opened to let it through. This is a charming explanation but it has no evidence at all; that a subsidiary entrance really did not exist in history.

Another attempt was made, but this time in the area of definition. The word ‘camel’, they say, has the same sounding in Greek with the word ‘cable’. If it is the case, then it can be translated as ‘rope’. This then can be more acceptable and rational to say compared to what Jesus declared. Well, at least a ‘rope’ is easier to accept than a camel or an elephant! But once again, this is nothing but futile attempt to lessen the impact of the meaning of this language…a language of hyperbole that Jesus used.

Whatever one might say, realize that it is humanly impossible for a person, rich or poor, to enter the kingdom of God apart from the divinely initiated ultimate act: Christ’s death on the cross.

Our “identity” should be establish on who Christ is and what he did (faith in Christ) before we can attain eternal life. Salvation is impossible apart from Christ, who was sacrificed on the cross of Calvary. More like a student trying to enter through the campus main gate seeing this notice: “No ID, No Entry”.

So to follow the logic of what Christ said:

The Way To Enter The Eye Of The Needle Is Through The Foot Of The Cross!

Ferdie Cabiling is a neophyte runner. He is the author of “and on this rock…” and the senior pastor of Victory Christian Fellowship – Ortigas.

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