And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?... Jesus said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. …When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” Matthew 19:21
A rich young man met Jesus. When Jesus told him to sell his possessions and give to the poor, the man could not do it. He just went away sad. Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
Many people would like to be able to serve both God and money, even though Jesus makes clear that our allegiance must be to God alone (see Matthew 6:24). So, people have come up with ways to try to soften this hard calling in Matthew 19. For example, some have said that “the eye of the needle” refers to a small gate in Jerusalem that camels couldn’t pass through.
But Jesus meant to describe something impossible. That’s why he adds later, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” It is impossible for us to seek and live for God with a pure heart if we are always desiring other things, like money.
When Jesus says, “With God all things are possible,” he means that his grace will welcome even people like the rich young man to follow him. His grace will welcome us to follow him, to be generous with whatever we have, and to give our allegiance to God alone. Some may need to confess that they love money and usually seek after earthly possessions and comforts more than they seek after God. God will show His grace and help many to turn to Him.