More camel humor

In The Humor of Christ (1964), the late Evangelical philosopher Elton Trueblood discusses “The Preposterous” in the teaching of Christ. He says we should,

recognize that Christ used deliberately preposterous statements to get His point across.

Trueblood comments on the rich man and the needle’s eye (see yesterday’s post).

Taken literally, of course, the necessary conclusion is that no one who is not in absolute poverty can enter the Kingdom, because most people have some riches, and it is impossible for a body as large as that of a camel, hump and all, to go through an aperture as small as the eye of a needle. For humorous purposes this is evidently the same camel swallowed by the Pharisee when he carefully rejected the gnat. That the listeners failed to see the epigram about the needle’s eye as a violent metaphor is shown by their question, “Then who can be saved?” (Mark 10:26). (47)

Camel at Qumran near the Dead Sea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Camel at Qumran near the Dead Sea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Had you thought about the humor of this statement?

You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! (Matthew 23:24 ESV)

There are the self righteous leaders straining their wine through a cloth. They eliminate every gnat, but then swallow the whole camel — head first, then front legs, then hump (and even second hump). After that, I suppose the rest would be easy.

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