Eternal Life Is Not Easily Gained

“¶And behold, someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Then he *said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man *said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. ¶And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:16-23 LSB


Jesus is God so when God speaks, we should listen carefully. Here God is asked what a person must do to receive eternal life. This is the most significant question any of us could ask or seek the answer to. God answers. Obey the commands. What commands? All of God’s major commands for showing His love to our fellow human beings who are, like us, created in the image of God. A constant theme in the Scriptures is that our treatment of each other is indicative of our treatment of God and our relationship with God will in part be measured by our relationships with fellow humans. But these commands can be done by men indicated by the man’s response to God, I have done all these things. While we do not do them the way God requires, we hate men, we curse men, we despise men, but we don’t murder men, we think then that we are obedient but ultimately not in the eyes of Him Who judges our hearts and our deeds. Regardless, God now brings us to the root of His desire for us so that we live with Him forever. In the beginning He said to obey the commands that impacted men, not God, now He says sell everything and follow Him. God requires the removal of everything in our lives that competes with love for Him. It is hard for people to enter heaven, God says it is hard, because we love other things more than Him and are not willing to part from those things that we love more. In the end, to receive eternal life, we must love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, He is the good One and we must love our neighbor as ourselves, the one thing we must do.  This is accomplished  by following Jesus as Savior and Lord and laying down our lives for others to come to know and love Him too.


Leave a Reply