MARK 10:27: “Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” (NLT)
OBSERVATION: Am I defining myself by my limitations – or by God’s possibilities? The context of this verse is Jesus’ conversation with the rich young ruler. The account in the Gospel of Mark gives some insights that the other Gospels do not. First, Jesus loved him. There was something about this young man that touched the heart of Jesus. Second, Jesus knew the young man was serious and answered him honestly. And third, Jesus did not make any exceptions or lower the threshold of truth to make it easy for the young man. Jesus called him to full repentance and full surrender.
As we look closer at the account in Mark we see that Jesus’ call for this young man to sell his worldly goods, give his money to the poor, and follow Jesus, did not come from Jesus’ desire to punish the young man for his sin. Rather, it flowed out of Jesus’ love for the young man.
- “Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:27 NLT)
Jesus knew that the young man would never be free if he continued to live with riches as his god. This young man’s love for riches was keeping him from the true love of God. He had honored all the other commandments, but the worship of mammon was keeping his heart from the true love of God. Whenever Jesus asks us to give something up, it is not as a punishment. It is always to lead us into greater freedom and love.
The young man faced a dilemma that we often face. The call of God upon his life was far beyond his human ability. It always is. If we can accomplish the will of God, apart from the Grace of God, then in reality we do not need God at all. Yet, we cannot. And when we are faced with such a dilemma we have a choice to make. We can trust in our human limitations, or we can throw ourselves on the mercy of God and trust in His Great Grace!
What would have happened is the young man would have cried out – “Lord, I want to follow You, but I don’t have the power to give up all and follow You. Please help me!” I believe we would have read a completely different ending to this story. Yet, sadly the story ends – “At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:22-23 NLT)
The story does not have to end there for us. We have the awesome privilege of the Biblical record to help us navigate from our own personal limitations into the wonderful provision of His Grace. When we do, when we cry out to God, we find that the impossible becomes possible as He works through us. The indwelling power of the Holy Spirit enables us to walk in repentance, surrender, and obedience. What we could not do because of the weakness of our flesh, God now accomplishes through the power of His Spirit within. It is not by our might – it is by His Spirit! The impossible becomes possible through the Holy Spirit within!
- “But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18 NLT)
Lord, this morning I ask you to forgive me for defining my life by my limitations. Grant me the grace to define my life by Your Possibilities. Pour out Your Spirit upon me afresh this morning to face the day with faith and confidence. What is impossible in my own strength if now fully possible through the Holy Spirit within!
In Jesus Name!