EYE OF THE NEEDLE TRAVEL WRITER’S JOURNAL Inspiring creative writing through travel and photography
The principle behind the ‘eye of the needle’ is making sacrifices and in the case of the lesson that the Lord Jesus Christ gave, it was about making the ultimate sacrifice for one to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. A young man came to him to try and understand how he could enter the Kingdom of God. “Teacher, what good thing must I do to obtain eternal life?” Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow, because he had great wealth”. “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” MATTHEW 19: 15-20. The ‘eye of the needle’ was a small gate in the biblical land that was used by travelers who arrived late, after the main entrance to the city had been shut. If a traveler was a trader and he came with his camel burdened with goods, it was practically impossible for the camel to pass through the extremely narrow passage with all the merchandise. So the trader had to unpack everything, let the camel pass and then take item by item to put the goods back on the camel. It was very tedious and needed much patience. Hence Jesus’ point was it was much easier to make that sacrifice of time and energy than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is the concept behind the tunnel called ‘eye of the needle’ in the eleven rock hewn churches of Lalibela. This particular tunnel is found in the second cluster of churches that are collectively known as the New Jerusalem. It connects Biete Emmanuel with the Beite Abba Libanos, which it towards the exit of the churches.