MATTHEW 19:26: “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Have you ever been faced with the impossible? Was the challenge that stood before so big that you knew it could not be accomplished without divine intervention? There are many times in life when we will feel this way. When we are faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge, we are actually positioned for the miraculous intervention of the Lord!
The disciples had just listened to two very difficult teachings of Jesus. The first was on the permanency of marriage. The second was on the difficulty of a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. At both junctures they basically threw their hands up in the air and said –
“Then, who can make it?”
The call to permanency in marriage was a counter to the Jewish custom of divorcing one’s wife for just about any reason. It was much like the culture we are living in today. If someone does not like something about their spouse today, they simply dump their partner, and trade them in for a new one. Jesus made it clear – from the beginning the Father intended for marriage between one man and one woman to be for life.
The call to discipleship was even steeper. The rich young ruler was a leading member of society. He was a moral person, followed the law, supported the faith, and was seeking eternal life. What happened next shocked everyone. Jesus called him to leave all of his riches and follow Him. The rich young ruler went away sorrowful because he loved his riches more than he loved Jesus. Jesus then said,
- “…Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, 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.” Matthew 19:23-24 NKJV
This prompted the disciples reply, “Who then can be saved?”
(Matthew 19:25 NKJV).
If this outstanding, law abiding citizen, missed the mark, was there hope for anyone? And, to this Jesus replied,
“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
What are we missing in this story? It is the focus. The disciples were focused on the inability of their culture and the rich young man. Jesus was focused on the grace, mercy, and sufficiency of the Father. If we focus on our ability or inability, we will always fall short of what it takes. However, if we focus on the miraculous provision of God’s grace, new opportunities abound!
We will never know what would have happened int he story of the rich young ruler if he would have cried out for mercy. However, I think from the counsel of Scripture, we can speculate. I believe if the rich young ruler would have cried out for help he would have been met with God’s grace and mercy. Yet, he did not take this important step. He simply walked away.
How many times have I failed to cry out to God? How many times have I looked at the situation I am facing and given up because it looked impossible? I assessed the situation and it was clear that I did not have the ability to face the challenge. So, instead of crying out to God, I simply walked away.
How big is the God I serve? How great is His grace? Do I serve the same God who parted the Red Sea, sealed the mouth of the lions in the den with Daniel, raised Lazarus from the dead, and defeated sin and death on the cross of Calvary? If I do – then is anything too hard for the God I serve? And, if it is too hard for me, do I simply walk away, or do I give place and opportunity for the God of the impossible to work?
In my life I have faced death and disappointment, failure and fatigue, doubt and discouragement. Yet, in all of these situations I have discovered that God’s grace is always sufficient. What is impossible within the scope of my ability and resources is possible with God. He continues to open doors that no man can shut and shut doors that no man can open. The key is my focus.
Lord, this morning, help me to focus on the possibilities of Your grace. When faced with the impossible, help me to run to You. Let me cry out to You for grace and mercy. Let me wait upon You until You act. And, let me remember Your wonderful promise –
- “…If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23 NKJV
In Jesus Name!