With God All Things Are Possible

(Matthew 19:16-26 ESV) 16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Our society is filled with a sense of hopelessness. A casual listen to the daily news confirms that our world is in trouble. But, it is so easy to focus on the broadness of the dilemma and fail to realize that global hopelessness must always be understood through the lens of individual need.

Jesus came to save the world. He knew it would have to be accomplished one person at a time, so He invested the majority of His time encouraging individuals. Such was the case in our passage of Scripture today.

CONTEXT: A rich young man approached Jesus to learn how to acquire eternal life. Jesus explained the process completely to him only to see the young man reject the knowledge that could have given him the very thing he wanted to possess. Jesus then makes a statement to the disciples that has been preached, in context and out of context, thousands of times! He declares, “With God all things are possible.”

WITH GOD

  • These two words emphatically declare that “impossible things become possible in the context of a working relationship WITH GOD.”
  • His will is the determining factor.
    • We cannot dream up our plan and then ask Him to make it possible.
      • What if I decide to covet my neighbor’s wife?
      • What if I want to live according to principles of Christianity, Mormonism, Buddhism, and Hinduism simultaneously?
      • What if don’t like my co-worker, so I decide to set them up so they’ll get fired?
      • What if I decide to walk out of Waffle House without paying?
    • You may feel that I’m being silly, but people ask God everyday to bless things that they know are contrary to His will.
  • When the rich young man turned his back on Jesus, he rejected the very thing that could have answered his question.

ALL THINGS

  • While it is clear that Jesus is speaking to the specific context, it is equally clear that He opens the door that allows us to expect a divine response to “all things.”
    • (Job 42:2 ESV) 2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
    • (Mark 9:23 ESV) 23 And Jesus said to him, “If you can!” All things are possible for one who believes.”
    • (Mark 14:36 ESV) 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
      • (1 Corinthians 6:12 ESV) 12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.
    • (Romans 8:32 ESV) 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
      • (2 Peter 1:3 ESV) 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
    • When reading these texts, it becomes clear that God is interested in every area of our life, and has made the necessary provision to produce a positive result.

ARE POSSIBLE

  • “Possible” implies that natural results are attainable when spiritual conditions are met.
  • Jesus illustrates His point by saying, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
    • The Entrance Theory – Some believe that Jesus was referring to a small entrance by the main gate of the city which would allow travelers to enter at night when the main gates were shut. It would have been virtually impossible for them to enter through this entrance with their animals.
    • The Cable Theory – Some believe that there was a manuscript error that caused the word “cable” (or rope) to be changed to “camel.” The implication would be that it would be impossible to pass a rope through the eye of a needle.
    • The Hyperbole Theory – This theory suggests that Jesus was “exaggerating” to make His point, as He did when He spoke of removing the “beam” from the eye, and cutting off one’s hand if it offends, or plucking out the eye when it has caused sin.
  • We can get so caught up in the various theories that we miss the main point, which is, that God is able to save to the uttermost those who come to Him by faith.

So, for this message to become relevant to our lives, we must answer the following questions:

  • Am I currently living as fully as God intends?
  • If not, what issues are preventing that?
  • Is it spiritual? Emotional? Physical? Financial? Relational?
  • Can I partner with God to see a positive change?
  • Am I willing to accept His plan when it differs from mine?
  • Do I want to start this journey of trust today?

PRAYER: Father, thank you for eternal life through your son Jesus. Because of Jesus, I’m certain that all things are possible as I trust in your plan for my life. You are good. And I am grateful! Amen.

 

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