Twice in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is approached with very similar questions: "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (Luke 10:25, ESV); "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Luke 18:18, ESV). Each time, the questioner left dissatisfied.Let's look at these passages to find out why.
ReceiveThe first time this question was asked, the questioner was a lawyer--someone who was an expert in interpreting the Jewish law. Read Luke 10:25-29.
- Jesus turns the question back to the "expert." What does the lawyer say?
- What is Jesus' response to the lawyer's answer?
- How did the lawyer react to Jesus' response?
- How does Jesus respond to the young man's question?
- What does the young man's answer indicate about his heart attitude?
- What flaw in the young man's character does Jesus reveal?
- What was the young man's response?
ReflectIf you look carefully at both of these questions, you'll find that the lawyer and the young man had three important words in common. The first word is "I." Each was focused on himself. "What can I ...?" The second word is "do." They were both seeking a salvation that came from doing something. And the third word is "inherit." An inheritance is something you receive in the future based on your relationship with the one who died. No wonder the lawyer tried to justify himself and the young man went away disappointed. Neither understood the way to eternal life.
Let's contrast this with Jesus' version of eternal life. He told His Father, "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me" (John 10:28, ESV)
- Who is the source of eternal life?
- How does a person gain eternal life?
- When does this eternal life begin (notice the tense of the verb "give")?
RespondAre you looking to "inherit" eternal life or to receive eternal life? Are you seeking to "do" or to be given? If you've never received this special gift, why wait? Visit our "Meet Jesus" page, and begin your eternal life right now.
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My Comments: I did not know I was looking for eternal life when I reached out and asked the Lord to be my Savior. I thought up till then I already had it. I was baptized as an infant and raised in the church which all of my family had gone to for many generations. My Great-Grandfather was a priest and he was buried in the back of the church I was raised in. My Grandmother was his daughter and my Dad’s Mom and she took care of the parish and the cleaning/cooking at the church. I loved going to church and never missed going even though it meant long hours in the services. And even longer on holiday services like Easter which was all night.
I had what I thought of as a relationship with God who I totally believed in. I knew who His Son was and believed in the Trinity. Yet one day just before 911 the Lord let me know that I was not “saved” and if I wanted to be I needed to seek His Son. I did not give it a second thought.
I asked the Lord Jesus to forgive me and to be my Savior and to come in and abide in me and be my Savior. Later I learned to ask the Holy Spirit to fill me with His presence and to ask Him to guide and teach me what I needed to know.
I am glad I did not drown what I was younger, or when I was beat, or in car accidents or even in childbirth. At that moment I knew what a wonderful God I served who loved me enough to lead me to the truth and help me to see and hear how much He loved me that He sent His only Begotten Son to die on the Cross for my sin. Thank You Father, Thank You Lord Jesus for the love You have for me.
Abba Father may Your Grace be upon any who read Your Word and I pray You remove the scales from their eyes, unstop their ears and soften their hearts towards You. May they seek and receive the righteousness of Your Son Jesus Christ. May they have a hunger and thirst for Your Word and be satisfied by the blood of the Lamb. In Jesus’ precious Name. Amen