In the Sermon on the Mount, Messiah first begins to explain John’s teachings that the Kingdom of Heaven or God was at hand.
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 3:1-2
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 4:17
Now if the perceiving the kingdom of heaven and salvation are the same thing, then it is not as easy as most inherited churches have been explaining it for the last 150 years or so, for both John and Messiah said the Kingdom was about to begin in their time, and only a few would comprehend it.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matt. 7:13-14
There are many who teach and or believe that the Kingdom was delayed. However that makes both John the Baptist and Messiah Himself to be liars and not prophets. Messiah explains over and over that the Kingdom is spiritual in nature and not physical. Those that cannot see that the Kingdom had come, our by inference outside the Kingdom.
The Camel Through The Eye of a Needle, is late in Messiah’s ministry. He was near Jerusalem where according to some preachers there was supposed to be a gate called The Needle. (There is no evidence of such a gate.)
For 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.” Luke 18:25
The “rich young ruler” had just failed to follow, and by failing he could not see the kingdom. Messiah is stating how hard it is for those who love material wealth to see the kingdom. c.f. Luke 18:25
The preachers often explain that the camel must be unloaded to pass through this gate. Or that the word is really rope and a rope can be pulled apart till it fits. However that’s not quite the point, the point being made in one of hyperbole. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. He does not mean that the man cannot find the kingdom but that it will be really hard. Which He goes on to explain, for the crowd is now confused, if a rich ruler can’t be saved, who can? Think about it, the young man is a ruler. This means that he is someone connected to the judicial system of the temple. Someone who interprets the law to others, and he is lost.
26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” Luke 18:26-27
The only way to acquire the Kingdom is to reach out to God.
FYI: The Messiah used hyperbole.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. Matt. 5:30
And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Matt. 24:22
The way to the Kingdom is narrow and hard to travel. The map and directions are hard to read. One does not automatically find the way because of the magic prayer of “asking Jesus into our hearts.” One must persist in the struggle. One must open their eyes and their ears.
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Matt. 13:16
If we are truly following our Messiah then the Kingdom will manifest to our spiritual eyes and ears. For it is really there, and not delayed.
There is however great reward for the effort and sacrifices taken to perceive the Kingdom.
29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no man who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive manifold more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30