Matthew 19:24

New Testament

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! 24 Again I say, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” 25 The disciples were greatly astonished when they heard this and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible.”

Song of Songs Rabbah 5:2


Hark! My BELOVED KNOCKETH: by the hand of Moses, when he said, [And Moses said :] Thus saith the Lord: About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt. OPEN TO ME. R. Jassa said: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel: ‘My sons, present to me an opening of repentance no bigger than the eye of a needle, and I will widen it into openings through which wagons and carriages can pass.’ R. Tanhuma and R. Hunia and R. Abbahu in the name of Resh Lakish said: It is written, Let be (harpu), and know that I am God. Said the Holy One, blessed be He, to Israel: ‘Let go your evil deeds and know that I am God.’

 Notes and References

"... God is also depicted as a gentle, loving father in the parables of the Synoptic Gospels. Most outstanding is Luke’s parable of the Lost Son where the father dashes off to embrace the son who had spurned him. The episode brings to mind verses like Exodus 34:6, Psalms 86:5, 15, and Jonah 4:2, which speak of God’s patience and readiness to forgive. Relevant is one sage’s interpretation of Psalms 32:10: “Even if an evil person repents and trusts in the Lord, loving-kindness will surround him.” These verses and the midrashic interpretation of Psalms 32:10 teach that God stands ready to forgive and receive any who make a move toward repentance. (Compare Song of Songs Rabbah 5:2, §2, Midrash Rabbah, Soncino ed.) This is one of the theological truths that drives the Lost Son parable. There are also synoptic parables where God is cast as a king. Parables comparing God to a king abound in the Midrash. Like the motif of God as a father, God as a king has its origins in the Torah. Indeed, God may be spoken of in terms of absolute, universal sovereignty, but the sages and especially Jesus inclined toward speaking of his reigning presence in the lives of people who had joyfully embraced him as the one true God. In other words, yielding to God and accepting the responsibilities of his kingship is tantamount to enthroning him as king. Israel did this after passing through the Red Sea when they sang, “The Lord shall reign forever and ever!” The sages believed it was here that Israel first accepted the Kingdom of Heaven, that is, declared God to be king. ..."

Frankovic, Joseph The Power of Parables (pp. 1-5) Jerusalem Perspective, 1995

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