Possible With God
Daily Reading: (Matthew 19:26):
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
With God all things are possible. When we are faced with a situation that is too difficult, too big, too overwhelming, who do we need to get involved in our situation. God!
What is happening in Matthew 19 for Jesus to make this profound statement?
There is a man whose wealth has blinded his needs. “Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life” (Matthew 19:16)?
With this one question, we are led to an entirely different supernatural grace-filled way to live.
The world essentially wants to know how can I save myself? Matthew 19:26 declares, “you can’t”! With men salvation is impossible. But the good news of Jesus Christ is salvation is possible with God. He paid the ultimate price for our sin because God is love. “For this is how much God loved the world-He gave His one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in Him will never perish but experience everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Jesus knew the ruler was self-righteous and considered himself a good man. Jesus cut straight to the heart of the man’s sin by immediately challenging his standard of goodness and we can do the same with Romans 3:12.
Jesus brings this man to the Law and the purpose is to show this man that he falls short of the glory of God. He needs a Savior. Salvation for him in and of his good behavior and his good works is impossible.
“Which ones?” he inquired (Matthew 19:18). The mind of the rich man is trying to calculate, how he can earn eternal life. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
His wealth has led him to the question, is there anything I can’t do. Wealth can easily blind a person to seeing their need for God. Now that I have obtained a lot, I have my sights set on the ultimate, taking care of myself for the life to come. What must I do now so that I might obtain eternal life to come? Specifically which commandments do I need to focus on?
What is interesting is that Jesus just starts listing some of the ten commandments. It is different than His response to the Pharisees who wanted the Ten Commandments reduced in Matthew 22:34-40. Jesus lists some of the commandments that the man thinks he has been really good at keeping.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’and ‘love your neighbor as yourself’”(Matthew 19:18-19).
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus magnifies the Law to show that if you try to save yourself, it is impossible. “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack”(Matthew 19:20)? In his heart, he knows that there is still something lacking in his life. Deep down he has a sense of what is lacking based off of his initial question, what good thing must I do to get eternal life”?
Jesus answered, “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” (Matthew 19:21).
Which one of the commandments is this one? Some have tried to take this verse and make it into the 11th commandment. If I live a life of poverty, one of lack, where I give all that I have, then I will earn my way into Heaven.
Do you realize what Jesus is saying?
Jesus is not saying, “We have to sell our stuff to be saved. Or that being rich is wrong because ‘it’s hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom’.” While it is true that it is harder for the rich and the self-sufficient to receive from the abundance of God’s grace, that is not the point here. The point is that the Kingdom of God is received by grace not purchased by merit. Salvation is only possible with God through Christ.