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Camels and Baggage

Matthew 19:23-30

23 Then Yeshua said to his talmidim (disciples/students), “Yes. I tell you that it will be very hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 Furthermore, I tell you that it is easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” 25 When the talmidim heard this they were utterly amazed. “Then who,” they asked, “can be saved?” 26 Yeshua looked at them and said, “Humanly, this is impossible; but with God everything is possible.” 27 Kefa (Peter) replied, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. So what will we have?” 28 Yeshua said to them, “Yes. I tell you that in the regenerated world, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Isra’el. 29 Everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times more, and he will obtain eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Finishing another chapter today... This segment has some verses in it that I have learned about while in Israel. The idea of a rich man entering the Kingdom of Heaven is a concept that I understood more about while in Bethlehem.

The oldest operating church in the world is located in Bethlehem. It is the Church of the Nativity. It covers the spot where they say Jesus was born. This building has "doors" that are quite tiny. They were made as protection from animals coming in and to keep chaos out. These doors were known as the "needle's eye." It is also said there was a gate in Jerusalem and one close to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The camels had to be unloaded to enter. In other words, their "baggage needed to be taken off."

When Jesus spoke about this, the disciples would have understood that a rich man would have to "unload his baggage" in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We all have baggage we should unload. Every day. Let it go. It isn't about "works" to get into heaven, but it definitely is about trust and letting go. Our needs and desires must be set aside.

Verse 26 is one of the first verses our children learned. We have it on a little plaque that sits in our living room. It is often used as "God can do anything." And yes, He can. However, I think that sometimes this gets used for human purposes. With God all things ARE possible, but it doesn't mean that He allows all things. Sometimes we want to turn this into our desires, and ask Him to supply what we want. God wants us to "let go of our needs and desires" and trust Him to give us all we need.

When we TRUST Him and let go, than the last will be first. Then the world gets turned upside down and His plan moves forward. This is a challenging concept. I am struggling with it myself. What is His plan? What are His desires? How do the "desires of my heart" fit into that plan? Are my desires selfish?

This is why it is a daily task of letting go and a daily task of seeking Him. It is praying and asking continually for His clarity and His wisdom. I pray that we can all do this more and more. I pray that we can all hear HIM in the mess of the world.

Love and blessings,


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