Read:  Mark 10:13-31

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In 2004, I was finishing up seminary and taking a class in preaching. One of our assignments was to write a manuscript and preach a text from one of the gospels. I chose the story of the rich young ruler from Mark 10. It had always troubled me. Perhaps because I identified with the rich young ruler. I saw myself in him. I did my best to keep the commandments, to love my neighbor and to love the Lord. Yet, what was most bothersome to me was Jesus’ directive to “Go sell everything you have and give it to the poor,” for he knew the young man had considerable wealth.

I also had considerable wealth. I had traveled the world to serve Christ in some of the most impoverished countries on earth. I was well aware of how privileged and blessed I was and Jesus words haunted me. Was He commanding me to go and sell all I had?

The answer to that question is…maybe. God cannot live in a secondary position. He is either God and receives the place of preeminence in our lives or He is nothing. Jesus would say you cannot serve God and money. So if you cannot hold loosely the things of this world, then perhaps Jesus’ words are for you.

BUT, ridding yourself of worldly anchors was not the point of Christ’s teaching in Mark 10. He was simply using the conflict in the soul of the rich young ruler to illustrate a greater truth. “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for those with wealth to enter the Kingdom of God.” The imagery is stunning, so stunning that the disciples were asking the logical question, “Who then can be saved?” And here is the point of Jesus’ teaching: “With man it is impossible, but not with God. All things are possible with God.”

We are all so messed up. All of our hearts are idol factories, producing one idol after another. As soon as we have loosened our grip on material things, gluttony is right around the corner. Once we’ve found self-control over our eating, lust surprises us. It is impossible for man to earn salvation. It would be more probable for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle. But not for God!

“This is Impossible” was written several years ago as we were meditating on Mark 10 and other teachings of Jesus. Read these lyrics and allow the hallelujah to rise up as we celebrate the salvation that is only possible with our God!

This is Impossible

He said unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees teaching in the synagogue, you will in no way enter the kingdom.
I cried this is impossible, this is impossible, there’s no way to God.
I cried this is impossible, this is impossible, there’s no way
He said you shall be holy as I am holy and unless you take up your cross and die daily and follow me, you will in no way be my disciple.
I cried this is impossible, this is impossible, there’s no way to God.
But God so loved the world, not that we loved Him but that He loved us.
That He sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God so loved the world.
As I try to push this camel through the needle’s eye
I find the limits of the human design.
But God’s made it possible what was impossible.
And the dead they awake! The dead they awake!
And the dead they awake! The dead they are waking!
The dead they are rising, hearts are reviving, eyes they are opening.
The dead they are rising, hearts are reviving, mouths are now singing.
HALLELUJAH!