“And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”(Matt.19:26)
This is a verse we hear as encouragement incredibly often. From hearing someone reference it, to seeing it posted on social media. But until recently, I hadn’t dug into the meaning behind this verse.
This verse comes from the story of the rich young ruler- a story I had heard before, but never knew it’s correlation to Matt. 19:26. A young man approached Jesus and asked him what he must do to be saved. Jesus responds with, “Keep the Commandments”. After this, he asked Jesus which ones are the most important and Jesus responds with, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness. Honor your father and mother and you shall love your neighbor as yourself”(Matt.19:18, 19)
The man says he’s done all these things but he is still lacking, and asks what he must do, and Jesus responds to him by saying, “Give up your wealth.”
The man is much grieved by this, and Jesus tell his disciples that it is nearly impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom. They ask, “Then how can one enter?” To which Jesus responded,
“With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
I believe this deeper understanding in context gives the verse a completely different connotation. It is that we are sinners, we are broken , and we are not worthy of the kingdom; but with God, and his amazing glory, we may enter.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- How does wealth and material possessions get in the way of our relationship with God and even our salvation, or entrance into eternal life? What did the rich young ruler love most? What does Jesus say we ought to love? (in this passage and any others)
- Besides wealth and things money buys, what else can get in the way? Is there anything you are holding onto too tightly, making it more important to you than entering the Kingdom of God?
- What is impossible for people? Does this mean we should give up and not try to follow the commandments? What is possible for God? Does this mean everyone will enter eternal life regardless of what they have loved? Why or why not?
- The disciples had given up much to follow Jesus and Jesus said they would be rewarded. What have you already given up? What might God be asking you to give up?