Matthew 19:24 Meaning of Verse and Simple Commentary

Matthew 19:24
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Explanation and Commentary of Matthew 19:24

Impossible? No. Difficult? Very. That is Jesus’ attitude concerning the ability of a rich person to accept him. This happens after Jesus is approached by the rich young man who asks him what he must do to enter the kingdom of heaven. It becomes clear that the young overachiever seeks to accomplish some discipline to add to his list of achievements. Jesus discerns his heart and exposes his true motives by telling him he must sell everything he has, give the money to the poor, and then come and follow Jesus. The man went away sad because his wealth was too important for him to give up.

But the kingdom of God has been likened to a treasure hidden in a field, that when a man found it, he sold all he had to buy it (Mt 13:44). If one is unwilling to do that, then it is not the kingdom of God that he has found. He is not a true believer. To truly believe is to see it rightly, worth everything if it is worth anything at all.

Riches in this world make it difficult because they mask the need for God. They cover up the depravity of spirit that is necessary to cause a hunger for God. It is not that one with wealth is unable, but it is a rare wealthy person who will see a reason to believe because he already has a god in his wealth. But this should not lead one to think that money, a neutral thing in itself, is evil in and of itself. If even a rich man believes in the resurrection, their need for a savior, and puts their hope in Jesus Christ’s imputed righteousness, they will be saved.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Matthew 19:24

#1 “Again I tell you,”
Jesus will reiterate what he stated in the previous verse. “It is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

#2 “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle…”
Some say this was a small gate in Jerusalem that a camel could walk through, but only with difficulty. But the metaphor is probably meant to be literal. Apart from the grace of God, it is not only difficult but impossible for anyone to be saved, especially those who are unable to see God as greater than their wealth.

#3 “…than for someone who is rich…”
One difficulty for application is to be able to define “rich.” Compared to whom? It is going to come down to the motivations of the heart. The Bible often chides the rich who gain their wealth by unjust means, oppression, extortion, false balances, etc. But even one who becomes rich by honest trade is in danger of missing the fact of their need for a savior. But with God, all things are possible (Mt 19:26).

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Biblical Translations of Matthew 19:24

NIV
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

NLT
“I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

ESV
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

KJV
“And again I say unto you, 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.”

NKJV
“And again I say to you, 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.”

Matthew 19:24 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.