But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible,
but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27 (NKJV)
When facing the challenges of life, the first question that comes to mind is whether we are able to handle them. This response is based on our ability or power to alter or control the circumstance. Either we have it or we don’t. Those things we feel unable to master we describe as impossible.
The Greek rendering of the word “impossible” is adynatos. This word indicates that, because the nature of a person or thing lacks certain ability, that person or thing cannot do some specific action. In our text today, this word is used as an adjective and means “powerless or impotent.” However, what is impossible for unaided human beings is “possible” or dunatos with God.
The Old Testament is replete with passages that illustrate human limitations. Many times Israel called upon Jehovah to intervene on their behalf. It was Jehovah Jireh (The Lord who provides) they called upon in time of need (Gen. 22:14). After successfully crossing the Red Sea it was Jehovah Ripah (The Lord who heals) they promised to faithfully follow (Ex. 15:26). In the time of battle, Israel lifted their voices to Jehovah Nissi (The Lord who is our banner) as their source for victory (Ex. 17:15). Every name given to God in the Old Testament revealed His unalterable power and ability to handle every circumstance Israel faced. From Genesis to Malachi, God proves Himself to be the God of possible.
The New Testament carries over this Old Testament view of human inability contrasted with God who is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask and think” (Eph. 3:20). Because of his inherent nature, God is able to help those who come to Him (Heb. 2:18), to save completely those who trust in Jesus (Heb. 7:25; Jude 24) and in short, to make every grace abound toward us (2 Cor. 9:8). Man, though created in the image of God, apart from God is impotent—able “to do nothing” (John 15:5).
In an age where self-sufficiency is valued, it’s common to minimize God’s ability to do the impossible. This belief may be held by those who feel there is no one who can understand their unique situation or problem. They may feel embarrassed or even ashamed. God’s love invites them to “cast their burden on Him because He cares for them” (1 Pet. 5:7). Perhaps people view their challenges as insurmountable. To them, The Creator of the universe responds, “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27) Perhaps individuals are burdened by sin—sin they feel is unforgivable. For that group, Jesus gladly responds with open arms of acceptance and says, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” The next time you’re faced with an impossible task, shift your focus from your inability to the all-powerful, loving God of possible.
Good to the Last Byte…
What are the impossible things mentioned in the New Testament? Here’s a brief sampling for your personal study: Matthew 19:26, Luke 18:27; Acts 14:8; Romans 8:3 and Hebrews 6:4. It is of course impossible for God to lie, for His nature lacks that capacity (Heb. 6:18). That should bring us great comfort and assurance in His Word.