“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NIV)”
Perhaps this is not the first time you’ve heard this line. I, for one, have heard this preached in pulpits, quoted in conversations, and mentioned in prayers. Today, reading it in the context of the preceding story in that same chapter, gives it a new perspective.
It was about the rich young man who asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked him to keep the commandments. The young man said he did! Jesus further challenged him and told him to sell all his possessions and give it all to the poor. The story said that the rich young man walked away very sad. Jesus concluded that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Perhaps shocked at this conclusion, the disciples asked Jesus who, then, can enter heaven? Then Jesus said the verse quoted above.
See, in its context, the impossibility was the things that the rich young man was finding difficulty in letting go– his riches. What a tragedy! To trade your earthly possessions for eternal life!
Then I realized that I am that rich young man. Finding difficulty in letting go of the “comforts of life.” Let’s enumerate: sleeping in, cab rides, too much food… When instead of spending it all on me, i could invest it in other people, say my parent’s health fund or missions funds…
Take my diet, for example. I struggle with letting go of flour-based things (pastries, pastas, breads). I can let go of rice but these things are harder to let go for me. Their temptations have a harder pull on my saliva and stomach.
Applying the lesson from Scripture, I find that overindulging and irresponsible eating harms me in the long way, voiding me of health and strength to do good works, as my form of worship and obedience. So, putting eternity in the picture allows me to rely on God, who will make it possible for these cravings to stop.
Life on earth is temporary. There has to be this constant and consistent attitude of seeing the eternal view of things. Knowing the truth that the God I have on my side is the God of the impossible, there’s no other ending to my story but success and His victory!