“With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Isn’t it amazing? Jesus could have said this in connection with any of his miracles. But he only said it about saving a rich man.
Jesus had performed many miracles – impossible events: Changed water into wine, healed the blind, fed the 5,000, then later the 4,000, raised the dead, walked on water, and healed the sick,
But why did Jesus choose this situation to declare that all things are possible to him even though they seem impossible to man? The rich young ruler in the story had asked, “What good thing shall I do that I May have eternal life?” Jesus said, “Keep my commandments.” He said, “Which ones?”. Jesus then listed six of the Ten Commandments, and the young man said, “I’ve done all these from my youth.”
Then Jesus exploded a bombshell on him. “Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21).
In his previous list of Commandments, Jesus had omitted his most crucial summary of the first four commandments. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew 22:37-38. Now, he was testing the young man concerning the first four.
Did he genuinely want eternal life? Did he sincerely want to follow Jesus? Then, “go, sell, and give. Then you will have treasure in heaven. After that, come and follow me.”
The Scripture says the young man left sorrowful at that point, for he had great possessions. His possessions were more important to him than knowing Jesus.
Was Jesus adding a step to the plan of salvation? Give away everything you have. No, No, NO!
After he left, Jesus commented on how difficult it was for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” The disciples then asked, “Who then can be saved?’ Jesus answered, “With men, it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Other than the resurrection of Jesus and the future resurrection of all believers, the greatest miracle is not physical healing, feeding thousands, changing water into wine, walking on the water, or any of the long list of miracles Jesus performed.
The greatest miracle of all has been performed countless times through the centuries. It is the miracle of being raised from spiritual death to spiritual life, from a life of sin to a life of victory over sin, from loving the world to loving Jesus, from loving money and success to loving Jesus.
The rich young ruler could not be saved because he wanted to know what good thing he could do to inherit eternal life. He thought he was capable of doing it himself. Salvation is not earned by what we can do but by what Jesus has already done on the cross.
It is the temptation of the rich to think they can do it themselves. It is the assumption of the young and healthy that they can do it all themselves. It is the persuasion of the religious to think that they can earn salvation by their good works. The error of the rich, the young, the religious, the healthy athlete, and the positive thinkers is that they can do it themselves. In truth, it is impossible for anyone to be saved – –
Unless – – –
They realize they can never be rich enough, give enough, be good enough, work enough, be religious enough, or be sufficient enough to merit eternal life.
Mark 10:14-15: “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” What does a little child have to offer God? Riches? Talent? Skill? Superior mind? He has nothing but himself. And that’s all we have. We have nothing that could cause God to forgive us our sins and give us eternal life.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy (not giving us the judgment we deserve) he saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Titus 3:5
For by grace (God giving us something good that we don’t deserve) are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:;8,9.
Jesus is the ONLY way, and he offers salvation to us. (John 14:6)
To be saved, we need to know and acknowledge:
- God loves us. Romans 5:8
- We are sinners by birth and by practice. Romans 3:23
- The wages of sin is death. Romans 6;23
- The gift of God is eternal life. Romans 6:23
- We need to turn from sin to Jesus – repent. Acts 3:19
- Confess, believe, and call on Him for salvation. Romans 10:13
The MIRACLE: Jesus comes in, and you have a new life. You now want to please the Lord with your life. If your conversion is genuine, you change from your life of sin to a new life in Christ.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Have you let Jesus perform this IMPOSSIBLE MIRACLE in your life?