Mark 10:25 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 10:25, NIV: 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.'

Mark 10:25, ESV: 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.”

Mark 10:25, KJV: 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.

Mark 10:25, NASB: 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.'

Mark 10:25, NLT: In fact, 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!'

Mark 10:25, CSB: 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."

What does Mark 10:25 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Some scholars say that the "eye of a needle" refers to the "Needle's Eye," a low gate in Jerusalem. It was a smaller, man-sized gate that opened at night when the main gate was closed. It would be very difficult to get a camel through, but not impossible. An animal that large would have to be unsaddled and stripped of all its "possessions" to come through. While this imagery works, others suggest that specific gate might not have been added until centuries later, implying Jesus had something else in mind.

Others read the expression more poetically, and the words more literally—the largest animal in the area and the smallest hole. Another Jewish idiom mentions an elephant going through the eye of a needle. The impossibility of this, physically, would have been part of the disciples' confusion. If the rich—who they saw as clearly blessed by God—cannot enter heaven, then who can (Mark 10:26)?

Some note that the Greek word for "camel," kamelon, is very similar to the Aramaic word for "thick rope," kamilon. This Gospel was written in Greek, however, so had Jesus intended to say, "thick rope," a word such as kalodio would have been recorded. That imagery is consistent with His meaning, however.

Jesus tells the rich young man to sell all his possessions, possibly including his land, and give everything he had to the poor. This is not a universal mandate. It is a precise command to a particular person who worships a specific idol: wealth. The point Jesus makes is not that money is incompatible with salvation. He's only demonstrating—for this person—that there is one thing he's not willing to sacrifice for the sake of obeying God.

Jesus will also continue to tell the disciples that to inherit the kingdom of God, they must let go of their desire for power and authority. Salvation must be dependent on our trust in Jesus to carry our sins, or no one would ever be saved (Mark 10:27). To fully follow Him, however, Jesus calls us to be willing to surrender our idols. For some, it is enormous wealth. But, for others, the idol may simply be the sense of "financial security," where we don't feel any risk or sacrifice in our giving. It may be personal health, security under a political system, or the freedom to choose what is best for ourselves and our families. Jesus doesn't promise any of this. Indeed, Paul sacrificed everything, including his life, in his mission to spread the gospel. Still, he said, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).

We need to consider what earthly treasure we are holding on to so tightly that our grip could pull a camel through the eye of a needle. Then we need to be able to open our hands and offer it to God.