Matthew 19:24 Explained | The Camel And The Rich Man Was Not About Money Or Greed

camel needleToday we discover that Matthew 19:24 is about people trying to get saved by the law, and that way is as impossible as a camel passing through the eye of a needle.

Easier For a Camel to Pass Through the Eye of a Needle, than a Rich man to enter the Kingdom of God Matthew 19:24

What’s this verse about?

Do we need to TRY harder to get to heaven?

Is it a lesson on Greed?

What if the rich man is merely an example, and the story was not intended to be limited to ‘money’?

What if this were a message about trying to get in heaven through the LAW?

How hard is it for a camel to get through the eye of a needle? IMPOSSIBLE!

We’re going to see this is a story about salvation.

It’s about choosing the ‘impossible’ way of the law, or choosing JESUS.

Keep in mind, Jesus is addressing Jewish people.

Jesus has not been crucified yet.

Q: What are the Jewish people looking to for salvation?

[Mark 10:17] 17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

We see the rich man is interested in ETERNAL LIFE

Notice his question. What shall I DO?

[Mark 10:18] ”And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.

If NO ONE is good then no one can get to heaven by their performance.

Jesus is going to show this rich man he’s not good. Check out what’s he uses to show him!

[Mark 10:19]  19 You know the commandments, ‘DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.’.

Where is Jesus getting these from?

Jesus is getting these from the law, and it’s not an accident.


Jesus is setting the stage perfectly for law based salvation.

Check out the mans response….

[Mark 10:20]  20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.”

Keep in mind, by the true standard of the law-Matthew 5, we know this man had committed adultery (looking with lust)! He has murdered (angry with a brother). We all have.

Nonetheless, the man thinks he’s good. But Jesus isn’t done with all the rules. 

[Mark 10:21]  21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

BOOM. Jesus uses the law again to show him his guilt of coveting.

Since this guy seemed to care about keeping the law we can assume he was a good guy overall. The point Jesus is making is that no matter how good you are – the law will convict everyone.

You should keep in mind. Jesus has NOT died / resurrected yet.

This guy has NO IDEA who Jesus really is, let alone sell EVERYTHING for Him.

[Mark 10:22-23]  22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. 23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!”

Mission Accomplished. This guy sees he is hopeless.

But WAIT! Jesus is about to reveal His real point.

[Mark 10:24-26]  24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then WHO CAN BE SAVED?”

And THAT’S the question to be asking!

Who in world can be saved by this standard?

One way or the other the law will shut every mouth up – because through the law no man is righteous.

Read Romans 3:19

Let’s see if Jesus even thinks this man could have been saved through the law (which he quoted 7).

[Mark 10:27]  27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “WITH PEOPLE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE

And there you have it. If you’re a ‘people’ then you can’t save yourself either.

This was not a rich man problem….it was a human problem.

The conclusion of this verse reveals the solution that Jesus is pointing us to.

[Mark 10:27 contd] but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

And the only way God gave us was through Jesus, and faith in his dying on the cross for our sins and his resurrection which gave us life.

I don’t know what your sin is, BUT God was not lifting the law of coveting above it.

Jesus was showing us our need for Him (which will later be realized through the cross/resurrection).

Author: Mike Cynar

Mike Cynar grew up in church and observed that countless people would go to church and then just stop. The church always referred to them as ‘fake Christians’ or ‘backsliders’ but Mike discovered the problem was deeper. The problem was the church message. The message was 90% behavior improvement and how bad you are, with a pinch of who you are in Christ, It was like every sermon was being preached to the church of Corinth. It’s in the Baptist church, Catholic, Pentecost, and most every other church. After discovering the true gospel message and how we are made right with God because of what ‘Jesus did’ (not what ‘we do’) Mike set out to free believers from behavior improvement programs and bring them back to Jesus. The Result – Jesus Without Religion was launched.