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Are All Things Possible for God?

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Verses about All Things Possible for God: Matthew 19:21-26; Luke 18:22-27; Mark 10:17-27; Luke 1:26-38; Jeremiah 32:23-40; Jeremiah 32:17

In the synoptic gospels, Jesus says, "For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27) Also, in Luke 1:37, the angel Gabriel says,"For nothing will be impossible with God."

This is the kind of scripture verse where context is absolutely essential to understanding the meaning.

All Things Possible for God: Salvation

In the context of this first verse, Jesus has just made the point that becoming saved is very difficult for a rich man (Matthew 19:23-24; Luke 18:24-25; Mark 10:23-25).

In response to Jesus making this statement, his disciples then exclaim, "Then who can be saved?" (Matthew 19:25; Luke 18:26; Mark 10:26)

Jesus now responds with this famous phrase that all things are possible for God. In context, Jesus is speaking of salvation, saying that it is impossible for humans to obtain salvation by themselves, but it is possible for God to make a way for humans to be saved.

His statement is a direct reply to his disciples' question about salvation.

Camel Through the Eye of a Needle

(Matthew 19:23-24; Luke 18:24-25; Mark 10:23-25)

This statement made by Jesus, that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to be saved, is a perfect example of Jesus using exaggeration (a figure of speech).

Jesus is well known for using figures of speech: "Then Jesus' disciples said, 'Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech.'" (John 16:29; also see John 16:25)

The Parables of Jesus Christ are mostly allegories, another figure of speech.

For more verses where Jesus uses exaggeration to emphasize his point, read the teaching on Jesus Speaks in Figures of Speech.

All Things Possible for God: Virgin Birth

In the context of Luke 1:37, the angel Gabriel comes to Mary to tell her that she will give birth to a son even though she is still a virgin. He also tells her that her relative Elizabeth will also give birth (to John the Baptist), even though she is very old.

This is when Gabriel makes the statement, "For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:37) In context, he is speaking of the virgin birth, as well as the fact that a woman who has passed child-bearing age is able to conceive.

All Things Possible for God: Redemption

In Jeremiah 32:27, God is recorded as saying, "See, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too hard for me?"

In the context of this verse, God speaks to his disobedient people who have been exiled from their homeland. God has told the prophet Jeremiah to buy land in this area, even though they are being exiled, to make the point that God will bring his people back to this land and save them from oppression (Jeremiah 32:25). This is when God responds to Jeremiah by saying, "is anything too hard for me?"

God continues to explain his plans by saying, in Jeremiah 32:37-40 "I will bring them back to this place...They shall be my people, and I will be their God...I will make an everlasting covenant with them, never to draw back from doing good to them; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, so that they may not turn from me."

In the context of this section (Jeremiah 32:37-40), God is referring to the everlasting covenant that he established through Jesus Christ, which he also just described in Jeremiah 31:30-34,

"Instead, everyone will die for his own sin... 'The time is coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers...because they broke my covenant...,' declares the LORD. 'This is the covenant I will make...I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people...For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.'"

All Things Possible for God: Creation

In Genesis 1, it records God creating the entire universe. If God has the power and ability to create all that we know, including ourselves, then basically nothing is impossible for God. In Jeremiah 32:17 it says, "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you."

However, are there things that God can't do? "It is impossible for God to lie," (Hebrews 6:18) and, in general, God certainly cannot sin because he is holy (1 Peter 1:16; Leviticus 19:2).

It is Impossible for God to Sin

Holiness is the very nature of God. "I the Lord your God am holy." (Leviticus 19:2) By definition, it is impossible for a holy God to sin, which is why "it is impossible for God to lie." (Hebrews 6:18) Paul also mentions this fact, "...God, who never lies..." (Titus 1:2)

James too makes the statement, "God cannot be tempted by evil..." (James 1:13) Evil opposes God's very nature.

Just like cold is technically that absence of heat, likewise evil is the absence of God's holiness and goodness.

It is Impossible for God to Change

It is impossible for God to change. God plainly states, "I the LORD do not change." (Malachi 3:6) and James says, "...the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17)

Since God cannot change, it means that everything about him is absolute. If God is holy then he cannot stop being holy and if God is perfect then he cannot stop being perfect, because God cannot change.

It is Impossible for God to Be Tired

Isaiah plainly states, "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom." (Isaiah 40:28)

Certainly God rested on the seventh day of creation, but it was because "God had finished the work he had been doing." (Genesis 2:2) Also, according to Hebrews 4, God's rest is a model for the Sabbath-rest believers will experience with God.

It is Impossible for God to Tempt Us

James bluntly says, "No one, when tempted, should say, 'I am being tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. But one is tempted by one's own desire, being lured and enticed by it..." (James 1:13-14)

It is Impossible for God to Be Imperfect

Jesus says, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48) God's very nature is perfection, so he cannot be imperfect, because he does not change.

All Things Possible for God: God's Character

All things are possible for God, except that which opposes his very nature. God can't sin, he can't lie, he can't change, he can't get tired, God can't tempt us or be tempted by evil, and God can't be anything except perfect.

Therefore, scriptures that claim that everything is possible for God tend to come with the assumption that everything is possible as long as it does not oppose God's nature and character. If God created the entire universe, then certainly anything else is possible for him.

Likewise, verses that claim "I can do all things through [Jesus Christ] who strengthens me," (Philippians 4:13) also need to be read in context to understand what the author is saying. In this particular verse, Paul is referring to the secret of "being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need." (Philippians 4:12)

The very nature of Jesus Christ, being God (John 1), means that he strengthens us so that we can do his will, since God would never give us strength to oppose his will (which would be the same as tempting us; an impossibility for God - James 1:13).

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Understanding the 40 Parables of Jesus Christ: Learn from the greatest teacher Jesus Christ. The gospel taught in stories.

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