The context for this verse is very interesting. Jesus had just come out of a conversation with a rich young ruler who asked Jesus how he could obtain eternal life. While the young ruler claimed he had kept the commandments, Jesus challenged him in the area in which He knew he had not been so holy. He told the young man to sell his possessions and to give to the poor. He told him that after doing this, the young man would have treasure in heaven and He told him to follow Him. However, the young man went away grieving because of the amount of wealth that he had accumulated. Needless to say, he didn’t come back!
It is here that Jesus makes the statement that it is harder for a rich man to get into heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. The disciples, as they so often are in the Gospels, are astounded that Jesus would say this, yet Jesus responds to them with verse 26, saying, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
It is important to consider the context as we evaluate what this word means. Many take this verse and isolate it, using it to mean that we can do anything we want in the Name of God because, with God, all things are possible! Yet is that really what Jesus means here? If I go jump off a cliff and believe I will sprout wings and fly in God’s name, will I survive? No, I believe that Jesus is speaking of something much deeper here than simply what our imaginations initially go to.
In the context of this story, Jesus seems to be talking within the realm of salvation. Yes, it is difficult for rich people to get into heaven because of their accumulated reliance on money rather than God. Yet does that mean that God can’t still save them? In the words of Paul, may it never be! Jesus here is bringing us to realize that God can save anyone He chooses, whether rich or poor, powerful or weak, atheist or agnostic. All things are possible with God.
A story that this reminds me of is that of Jonah in the Old Testament. God calls Jonah to go to Ninevah and to preach to them, but Jonah goes his own path. Jonah doesn’t want to go to Ninevah and preach to the people because of how wicked they are. Yet was he scared of being hurt? Actually no, he was scared that God would save them! Jonah understood that with the power of God, even the most wicked of people can be saved through His grace and great mercy. Likewise, we should believe that all people can be saved by God’s power. While we do struggle with people as we evangelize and share our faith, we should never feel hopeless, for with God all things are possible.
King James Version (KJV)
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
New International Version (NIV)
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.'”
New American Bible (NASB)
“And looking at them, Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“And looking at them, Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”
God makes us all feel more comfortable and gives us the strength in our live that we need. Matthew 19 26 is a powerful bible verse that emphasises the tremendous power god has and which he gives us to achieve our goals in life.
Especially when one finds him- or herself in a tough situation, always remember this bible verse and remember that god is with you and that you will have the strength to get through whatever you are currently in.