All Things Are Possible

“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Many people in the Bible enjoyed great wealth. Abraham “was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold” (Genesis 13:2). After Job’s troubles ended, “the LORD restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed, the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10). Because these two men are noted examples of faithfulness, we assume that righteousness is often rewarded by wealth. “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4). If you have wealth, then surely God must approve of you and of the way you live. The Jews leaped to the inevitable conclusion: the wealthy are obviously part of the kingdom of Christ.

It is true that living right can bring blessings of a material nature. You can work hard, be fair to others, and then reap the benefits of honest labor. Yet, rich people are not always righteous people. “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you!” (James 5:1-7). There is no absolute link between goodness and wealth. The disciples of Jesus believed the wealthy would naturally be part of the kingdom. When Jesus said, “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,” the disciples in astonishment replied, “Who then can be saved?" (Matthew 19:24-25). If the rich cannot be part of the kingdom, then who can be?

Yet, all things are possible with God. Understood in the context of Matthew nineteen, Jesus says that only God can save someone (in this case, the rich) from himself. Do we think we are trusting in what God has given when we eagerly hoard up His abundant blessings, and somehow think we have enough to insure our status in the kingdom. With that kind of attitude, it is impossible to enter the kingdom. And it is impossible for God to save us. That is, He will not and cannot save us when our faith is in what we have rather than in what we are.

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). The Lord wants all of you, your entire heart. That is the danger of whatever—riches, pride, education, power. Anything that prevents us from seeing our utter, complete dependence upon the Lord will keep us from the kingdom. We might turn away sorrowful, as did the rich young ruler. We can, though, see that Jesus alone provides what we cannot, even with all that we have. Heaven is impossible without our Lord.