(25) And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? (26) He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? (27) And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. (28) And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.Luke 10:25-28
(25) And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
- “a certain lawyer”- This would have been a person who spent his life studying the law. Some have said it is a kind of scribe who is a supposed expert in the law.
- “tempted him”- The point of the exchange in regard to the motivation of the lawyer was not noble. He was not seeking answers sincerely. He was trying to “get something over” on Jesus. When people try to manipulate Jesus it never goes well in terms of accomplishing what they desire.
- Let us look at the question: “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
- This is a question that Jesus is asked on other occasions.
- Is there something that can “be done” to “inherit” or merit eternal life?
- Jesus responds with a question.
(26) He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
- Jesus answers. “You read the scripture. What does it say?”
- This is a good pattern for us. When we have a question, the driving force behind getting an answer should be “what does the Bible say?”
(27) And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
- This lawyer did “know” the scripture well.
- He gave a good answer that sums up the law and the prophets.
- Love God, and love people.
- Love God first and put people at the same level of care and concern that you give to yourself.
- Love God with everything you possess- heart, soul, mind, and strength, and make the concerns of others your chief concern.
- Isn’t this a good way to summarize the 10 commandments? The first 4 commandments deal with God, the last 6 with others. Loving God looks like at least keeping the first 4, and loving my neighbor means at least keeping the last 6.
(28) And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
- Jesus gives a right answer to the lawyer. If this man were to perfectly keep these two commands, He would inherit eternal life.
- What is the problem with this prescription?
- There is no way we can do this perfectly.
- This lawyer had already put himself ahead of God and others.
- He had already violated the law, and therefore could not inherit eternal life.
- He had already done it in this section because the whole line of questioning here is to “tempt Jesus”. He does not have a care and concern for Jesus. He wants to fight him.
- He is violating the law at this very moment.
- God’s will and desire for our lives is to put Him first with our entire being, and to put the concerns of others ahead of our own.
- The only way we can do that consistently is for God to come and live in us and work through us.
- On our own we cannot do this. It takes a move of the Spirit of God in us.
- This means there really is nothing we can do to “inherit eternal life” because each of us are sinners in nature and in practice.
- We have violated this law the moment we sin in thought or deed from an early age.
- We need God’s mercy and grace to forgive us, and we need God’s Spirit to empower us to do His will.
- Pick a way to say no to yourself so you can do something for the Lord and for someone else today.