All things are possible ! Are they ? Do you think that ? When I look around me at the world I know that a great deal is possible, but hardly everything. I am reminded of the saying that there are two certainties in life: Death and Taxes ! Is it really possible to know a life without either….
Well I suppose you could avoid the taxes if you go far away enough and could live without buying goods or services from anyone.
But death comes to us all.
Sure, scientists are hoping that one day they will have the answer to that one too – and there are people willing to be deep frozen to await the day it can be done – but just now, no.
We need to put this citation into its context.
“But Jesus beheld them and said unto them: With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible !”
Well if God exists, then by definition, all things must be possible for the All Knowing, All powerful, and Always Existent ONE.
But the context is significant here. The statement that God can do all things is made in conclusion to a story recorded in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 19, from verse 16. It is the story of a rich young man who asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life – to get into heaven.
Jesus tells him to keep the commandments – referring to the 10 commandments given to the Jews and recorded in Exodus chapter 20 and in Deuteronomy chapter 5. And in keeping them he will enter into life, that is eternal life.
This echoes the teaching Jesus gives as recorded by John in his Gospel chapter 8, verses 31 and 32 as well as in chapter 14, 21 for example.
But the young man stated that he kept the Commandments, and had always done so. Jesus then tells him to sell all he has, give to the poor and come and follow him. The young man then loses heart because he is not willing to give up all he has.
Then Jesus speaks those famous words about it being easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven [verse 24].
Of course, the young man could have gone away with his answer and with no question mark over his wealth, if he had accepted the first answer, and not persisted.
But he lied. No-one can keep the Commandments. If they could, then there would have been no need for Jesus Christ to come to die on a cross in our place and to rise again for our justification. None.
It is in knowing and wanting to keep the Commandments that we find out that we cannot. Only God in us can do that… and he will when we realise our incapacity.
That is the difference between Christianity and well meaning but godless humanism. The good humanist who rejects God believes that he can be good, of himself. But the Christian knows full well he can’t.
This is why Jesus told the young man to sell up. He was in breech of the first commandment of all, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Wealth was this young man’s god. It was more important to him than taking on the true meaning of God’s/Jesus teaching.
But Jesus does not leave us there, trapped in the sinfulness of our humanity. He says it’s impossible for mere men in their mere mortality. But not for God who is All knowing and wise, All Powerful, All Present, and let’s also realise, All Merciful.