But Jesus beheld them, and said…With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible…


Young people are concerned and some people are worried, they say, about whether we have the infallible Word of God.

As far as I am concerned, grant me God Himself, and I am not worried about His writing a book. Grant me the Being and Presence of God, and that settles it!

Whenever I find men running to science to find support for the Bible, I know they are rationalists and not true believers!

If God said that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, then the whale swallowed Jonah, and we do not need a scientist to measure the gullet of the whale.

Why are we fussing around finding out the collar size of a whale, or how big his neck is? Grant me God and miracles take care of themselves!

“Is healing for us today?” someone asks. My reply to that: “Is God still alive?”

And the answer is, “Yes, God is still alive!”

All right, then, healing is for us today. Whatever God did and was able to do and willing to do at any time, God is able and willing to do again, within the framework of His will.

It is not whether we can understand it or not it is whether God said it or not. If God said “I AM,” I respectfully bow and say, “O God, Thou art!”

Letting God prove Himself through the channels of our lives is the answer. Grant me God, and the task will not be too big![1]

And looking upon them Jesus said to them explicitly what the Mosaic law said implicitly: “With men this is impossible.” Just as it is not merely difficult but impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, it is not merely difficult but impossible for men to please the Lord and come into His kingdom on their own terms and by their own efforts. In one simple declaration, Jesus utterly destroyed the current perspective in the religion of Israel and, at the same time, all hope in works-righteousness. Whatever his material possessions and earthly accomplishments, every person stands totally helpless and powerless before God. He stands condemned before a righteous God, and in his depraved nature he can do nothing to make himself holy and worthy of God’s forgiveness and acceptance. With that statement Jesus swept all religions of human achievement and works-righteousness into hell. Left to any work of man, salvation is impossible.

“But with God all things are possible,” Jesus went on to say. Because God is able to change sinful hearts, it is possible for Him to save helpless men. God can do what men cannot do. The rich young ruler went away without eternal life because he sought it on the impossible basis of his own human resources and goodness. Salvation is entirely a gracious and sovereign work of God, and the work of His human witnesses is simply to proclaim the full truth of the gospel as clearly and lovingly as possible and to rely on God to apply that truth to an unbeliever’s heart and bring him to recognize his spiritual bankruptcy and come to repentance and obedient faith. Although repentance and faith require an act of human will, they are prompted by the power of God.

“No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him,” Jesus said (John 6:44). That is why Paul admonished that “the Lord’s bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will” (2 Tim. 2:24–26).[2]

The beautiful and reassuring answer is found in verse 26. Fastening his eyes on them Jesus said, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. In this dramatic moment the eyes of Jesus, as he fixed them on his disciples, must have been filled with deep earnestness and tender love. When he now tells them, “With men this is impossible,” he means exactly that. At every point, beginning, middle, end, man is completely dependent on God for salvation. Of himself man can do nothing. If he is to be saved at all he must be born again or “from above” (John 3:3, 5). Even when by faith—God-given faith! (Eph. 2:8)—he reaches out to God, yet in order to do this he must be enabled and supported every day, hour, minute, and second by God’s omnipotent grace. For the religion of the rich young ruler (see verses 16, 20), which was the religion current among the Jews of that day and age, there is no room here. Not only Pelagianism but even Arminianism stands condemned.

Glory be to God, however: there is a way out. What is impossible with men is possible with God, with whom all things are possible. It is he who, through Christ, is able to save to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25). His grace extends even to the determined and relentless persecutor Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1; 26:9–11; 1 Cor. 15:8–10; Gal. 1:15, 16; 1 Tim. 1:15). Just how, through the Mediator, this salvation is brought about, Jesus has already begun to reveal (Matt. 16:21; 17:22, 23). He will continue to do so with increasing clarity (see 20:17–19; especially 20:28; 26:26–29).

Peter is still thinking about the words which the Master had addressed to the rich young ruler (see verse 21). Jesus had asked him to sell all he had and give the proceeds to the poor, promising that if he did this he would have treasure in heaven. So Peter “answers,” that is, he reacts to that statement (that demand plus promise) of Jesus, as follows:[3]

19:26 The Lord replied, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Humanly speaking, it is impossible for anyone to be saved; only God can save a soul. But it is more difficult for a wealthy man to surrender his will to Christ than for a poor man, as evidenced by the fact that few rich men are converted. They find it almost impossible to replace trust in visible means of support for faith in an unseen Savior. Only God can effect such a change.

Commentators and preachers invariably inject here that it is perfectly all right for Christians to be rich. It is strange that they use a passage in which the Lord denounces wealth as a hindrance to man’s eternal welfare, to justify the accumulation of earthly treasures! And it is difficult to see how a Christian can cling to riches in view of the appalling need everywhere, the imminence of Christ’s Return, and the Lord’s clear prohibition against laying up treasures on earth. Hoarded wealth condemns us as not loving our neighbors as ourselves.[4]

[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Mt 19:23). Chicago: Moody Press.

[3] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, pp. 728–729). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[4] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1277). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.


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