Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”Luke 18:27
Jesus was approached by a rich man who wondered what he needed to do in order to enter God’s Kingdom. When the man claimed to have faithfully followed all the commands of the Law, Jesus struck at the idol of his heart: wealth. Jesus told the man to sell all his possessions, give to the poor, and come follow him. But hearing this, the man “became extremely sad” (Luke 18:23).
Jesus went on to explain to his followers how hard it is for a rich person to be saved–“it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle” (18:25). This caused those around Jesus to exclaim, “Then who can be saved?”
For the most part, having wealth tends to mean the ability to care for oneself. There is a perception that money makes life easier. The truth of this idea is up for debate, but it drives many in their quest for wealth. If only I had more money, then I could have XYZ or be free to do XYZ. Wealth enables us to buy things, care for ourselves, and care for others.
So, if people who have more freedom to do what they want because of what they possess have a hard time being saved, then what about all the poor and lowly?
Jesus’ reply in 18:27 reminds us that for everyone, rich or poor, young or old, male or female, salvation is impossible in our own strength. It is impossible for any of us to rescue ourselves any more than it is possible for a large camel to squeeze through the tiny eye of a needle.
Good news, though! God is in the business of doing what is humanly impossible.
Every salvation is a miracle of God. Every salvation is a new birth we could not cause. The impossible becomes possible for us not by what we own but by who we know–Jesus, the Son of God, as our Savior-King. We step from impossible to possible by faith in the one who can do all that he pleases.
This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2020 Bible Reading Calendar. All Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible.