Luke 10:25-28 – On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered: ” `Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, `Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
Luke gives us the benefit of a special discourse between Jesus and a lawyer. We are allowed the benefit of knowing that this expert in the law intended to put Jesus to the test. Though he may not have been personally looking for instruction from Jesus, his question is representative of the hearts and minds of a good percentage of humans. Many of us desire to know what good we should do in this life, in order to attain eternal life. The lawyer stood up and asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” If Jesus had anything unique to offer to this question he would get it out of Him, or perhaps even expose Him for heresy; if not he would expose His doctrine as useless, since it would give no new insight or direction other than what had already been received. If we ask this question, “what must I do…” with an insincere motive it loses all its goodness. It’s an arrogant and careless thing to inquire about the things of God and eternal life if we do not intend to learn or grow from our inquiry. Even so, this is a tremendously important question when it comes from a sincere seeker.
Notice how the Master teaches the lawyer. First of all, He turns his attention to what is written in the Law of God and bids him to follow its directives. Although Jesus could recognize what was in this man’s heart, He did not answer him according to the folly of his motives, but rather according to the wisdom and goodness of the question he asked. He returns the question with a question of His own. The lawyer came intending to school Jesus, to get to know Jesus and how to deal with Him, but Jesus is the one who gives the lesson, and causes the lawyer to get better acquainted with himself. Christ talks with him as a lawyer. He talks his language and meets him on his own playing field – as He does with anyone who will inquire about the things of eternal life! Jesus will meet you on YOUR turf! He’s capable of speaking YOUR language and bringing you into the light of life that lasts forever!
Did you notice how the lawyer replies to the question asked of him? He gives an excellent biblical account of the principle commandments of the law that we must devote ourselves to if we would inherit eternal life. He focused on a two part summary of the greatest commandments, which when rightly honored will fulfill all the rest! If we would obtain eternal life: #1 – we must prize God above all else and love Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind! And #2 – we must love our neighbor as our self!
Our love for God must be deeply sincere and heartfelt, as fervent and strong as life, full of purest emotion, and it must be a rational and intelligent love – a love that allows our mind to be engaged for all the best reasons – KNOWING GOD! Our love for God must embrace the entirety of our being – our whole soul and self. Eternal life is bound up in our love for God. And, then we must also love our neighbors as ourselves – which we do more easily when we love God as we ought to. President Lincoln defined it quite well in his 2nd inaugural address, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Having heard his answer, Jesus then told the lawyer, “You’ve answered correctly. Do this and you will live!” Do you think that the lawyer had attained to this love in his practice and living? Do you think he is able to justify himself before Christ in these matters? Tune in next week!
Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
Friday: Pray for the Good News families of the week: Betty George, David & Sarah George (Nathanael, Rachael), Jon & Suzan George (Hannah, Abby, Jacob, Samuel).
Saturday: Praise God for the hope of eternal life!
Sunday: Worship the eternal, loving and only wise God who has made Himself known in Christ Jesus.
Monday: Love God with all your heart and soul, mind and strength!
Tuesday: Love your neighbors and do unto them as you would have them do unto you!
Wednesday: Celebrate God’s plan and gift of eternal life.
Prayer Challenge: Let the world know! And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. – 1 John 5:11-13