The Camel and a Needle
Scripture: Matthew 19:16-26, Mark 10:23-27, Luke 18:18-27
Jesus used many word pictures to explain heavenly things to His earthly audience. We need to make the Scriptures come alive for the children and make it applicable for them.
You will need a camel and a sewing needle for this lesson.
Most of us don't have a pet camel at home or have them walking the streets as they were in Jesus' day. However, a toy camel will work just as well. Plastic, stuffed animal, or a figurine from your Christmas nativity scene – even if you have a wise man sitting on it. If you can not find one use a picture, most children have seen a camel at the zoo and know what one is.
In three of the Gospels we find an interesting story about a rich young ruler asking Jesus how to get to heaven. Jesus tried to get him to see his need of putting Jesus before his money. When he left sorrowing because he did not want to put Jesus over his money. Jesus said the following found in Matthew chapter 19:
24. 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.
25. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
26. But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Ask the children if they have ever seen a camel. Give them facts about camels: they are big animals, they carry hundreds of pounds across the desert, and have humps on their back to store water. Show them your much smaller camel. Even with your smaller camel you cannot put it through the small hole in the needle. (If you have a plastic needle that is not sharp you can have the children try to do it.)
There is no way even a smaller toy camel can get through that hole in the needle let alone a huge real one. It does not matter whether you are rich or poor, trying to earn your way to heaven will not work. It is as useless as putting the camel through the needle. We can do nothing on our own to work our way to heaven.
The disciples were amazed and asked Jesus, “How can anyone get to heaven?”
On our own it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. We can not sneak into heaven. We can only go God's way! Through the blood of Jesus' finish work on the cross.