Matthew 19:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 19:26, NIV: "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"

Matthew 19:26, ESV: "But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”"

Matthew 19:26, KJV: "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

Matthew 19:26, NASB: "And looking at them, Jesus said to them, 'With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"

Matthew 19:26, NLT: "Jesus looked at them intently and said, 'Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.'"

Matthew 19:26, CSB: "Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.""

What does Matthew 19:26 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The disciples' jaws may have dropped when Jesus said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God. Their culture thought of rich people as favored by God and able to accomplish anything. When Jesus says the rich can't attain heaven, it would have left them wondering how anyone, at all, could hope to attain salvation.

Christ responds with another shocking remark, one that might have been confusing at first. The disciples likely expected Jesus to say that only those who are truly humble or poor in spirit can be saved (Matthew 5:3). Or, that only those with childlike faith and dependence on God can be saved (Matthew 19:13–15). He says none of that. Instead, Jesus agrees with the disciples that it is impossible— "with man"—for anyone to be saved.

This expands on Jesus' earlier statements about how difficult it is for the wealthy to be saved (Matthew 19:23–24). In human terms, no one can achieve salvation (Titus 3:5). This goes back to Jesus' conversation with the rich young ruler who discovered his own goodness was not so good, after all (Matthew 19:16–22). Jesus had said that only God is good with the implication that only the good can be saved. So not just the rich, but the poor and the middle class and the religious and sinners are all in the same boat. It is impossible for human beings to do any good thing to secure eternal life with God in heaven.

That's not the end of Jesus' statement, though. He says that with God all things are possible. He does not close the door on human salvation, but He does declare that God must bring it about. He does not, at this time, explain how God will bring it about: through His death on the cross for the sins of humanity.