Jesus answering the question, "What do I have to do to inherit eternal life."
|Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Luke 18:18
This verse talks about a 'certain ruler,' or rather, one particular guy that spoke up and straight out asked Jesus the question that was foremost on his heart. The truth is he is not alone! After all isn't this the question we all ask somewhere along the way? "What do I have to do? How do I get to Heaven?" It also says that he addressed Him as, 'Good Teacher,' which means he had been hanging out, watching and listening long enough for him to believe that Jesus knew the answer.
Jesus doesn't respond in a way that I would expect. I would think something like, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except by me," would have come up next, but it didn't. Instead He says, "You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother." All of which are the commandments that have to do with our relationships with one another. The man's response, "All these I have kept from my youth." A point that Jesus doesn't dispute. Which basically means he is a "good guy," and he is NOT DOING all the right things.
Jesus' next words get to the heart of things, "You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." I believe Jesus didn't use the first five commandments for a reason. I think if he had, the man's answer would have been the same. "All these I have kept since my youth." I think he would have sincerely believed it to be a true statement. He seemed to be your everyday 'nice person' not doing all the right things. He had spent his life focusing on not sinning to the best of his ability, to the point where he had stopped doing what he needed to do the most, focusing on loving the Lord God with all his heart.
With His statement, "You still lack one thing..." Jesus, put the man in a place where he had to choose and make a decision to follow Him. Multitudes, Multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14 We all come to that place of having to choose and no matter how good a person our reputation says we are or how many sins we are good at "not doing" we can still miss out on heaven unless we do the one thing that matters most. We must choose to love Him above all else!