Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
"Beyond All Expectations"
May 16, 2018
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
~ Matthew 19:25-26 (ESV)
Hopeless situations. I can still remember the day the doctor came out of surgery and, with a sad face, said the situation was "hopeless." The cancer was inoperable. "Take her home," he said. "Make her comfortable and when that no longer works at home, we'll bring her back to the hospital so she can die in peace."
The family asked, "How long does she have?"
"Six months at best" was the doctor's reply.
The last time I saw that lady was when she was celebrating 23 years of the doctor being wrong.
Hopeless situations. I can recall the day I performed a wedding for two totally incompatible young people. I had tried hard to find a reason for me not to do a wedding which was so obviously going to end up in the divorce court. The last time I saw them they were sitting in church with their family. They, their children, and grandchildren filled up two very happy pews.
Impossible situations. I remember the night when Pam and I came across a car wreck. The vehicle wasn't just totaled, it had been obliterated. It was physically impossible for anyone to have survived. Even so, over there was a man who had been thrown clear, and in the car was a man whose arm was caught by the power window. Except for that minor injury, he, too, was all right. Indeed, he was even able to stand through his entire wedding the following day.
Our primary conclusion has to be that impossible situations are not always as impossible as they seem, but our secondary still has to be that some impossible situations truly are impossible.
Consider the Savior. He and His ministry had upset the powers that be. As a result, civic leaders, temple authorities, and state rulers came together and placed Him on a cross to die. Evidence of His death was given when a Roman spear was thrust into His side and blood and water flowed from the wound.
During His earthly life, Jesus had made many promises about forgiveness and salvation and what people might expect if they believed in Him. Sadly, from a human perspective those promises had to be buried in that borrowed grave along with Him.
But situations which are impossible to us are inconsequential and insignificant to the Lord.
That's what Jesus told His disciples. They had wondered, "Who then can be saved?" When Jesus told them what was expected, they replied that with those kind of requirements it looks like heaven is an impossibility.
To that Jesus replied, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Truly, we believe that God can do the impossible.
Journey to the empty tomb and see how the risen Lord Jesus has defeated death, kept His promise of His resurrection, and reassures us that because He lives, we will live also.
Yes, go to the empty tomb and see the impossible become more than a possibility; it becomes our God-given reality.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that Jesus has done that which could not be done. May His victory touch lost souls around the world so they may be brought to faith. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
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I can still remember the day the doctor came out of surgery and, with a sad face, said the situation was "hopeless." The cancer was inoperable.