With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible . . . For with God nothing will be impossible. (Mat_19:26 and Luk_1:37)
God’s ability has a critical relationship with His promises. The greater we see His ability, the more sure we are of His promises. Man’s ability is one of the basic reasons we generally doubt his promises. This is one of the significant differences between God’s promises and man’s promises. Man’s ability often runs into human impossibilities. The Lord is not limited by “the “impossibility factor.” This truth is reflected in two stories of “seeming impossibilities” that lie behind our present verses.
A young rich man came to Jesus, seeking salvation. “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? ” (Mat_19:16). Jesus quoted the law to stir conviction of need. The rich man wrongly thought he was performing well. “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack? ” (Mat_19:20). Jesus identified with precision the man’s basic sin, putting money ahead of the Lord. “Go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Mat_19:21). However, the rich young man would not put Jesus ahead of his riches. “When the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mat_19:22). Jesus then elaborated on the man’s difficult situation. “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” (Mat_19:24). The disciples (who wrongly assumed that rich men were the most likely to be saved) wondered how anyone could then be saved. Jesus corrected their faulty thinking. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Mat_19:24). Later, Jesus demonstrated God can even save a rich man (Zacchaeus — see Luk_19:1-10).
Our second story concerns the “impossible births” of Jesus and John, the Baptist. When the angel proclaimed to Mary that she would have a child before she even knew a man in marriage, she was initially staggered by the impossibility of it all. “How can this be, since I do not know a man? ” (Luk_1:34). The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.” (Luk_1:35). Then, the angel announced that Elizabeth (Mary’s elderly, barren relative) was now pregnant. Finally, the angel summarized Jesus’ divine conception and Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy with the heavenly explanation. “For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Dear Lord, You are able to do much more than put camels through eyes of needles. You are able to get sinners forgiven and into heaven. Lord, Your ability to do the impossible assures the certainty of Your promises, so I trust in Your word, In Jesus’ name, Amen.