(29) But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?Luke 10:29
After Jesus had allowed the man to answer His own question and affirmed the correctness of His answer, the man asks another question.
The answer to the question “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” was “to love God with everything I am and put my neighbors needs ahead of my own”. The answer might well be given as “to be perfect in your relationship to God and others consistently in every circumstance”.
What should be the response to that kind of an answer?
Certainly, there must be an admission of the fact that we have violated God’s law. The natural next question should be, “If I have broken that, how do I receive eternal life. There is no way I can earn it if those are God’s expectations.” Certainly, the man was in a good circumstance, seeing that He was standing in front of God in the flesh.
Yet we already know He was at odds with the One who could help him. He was asking these lines of questions to “tempt” Jesus, the very one that could forgive Him.
So, instead of crying out for mercy after admitting He could not keep this law, the man did what so many do when faced with their own guilt. He tried to justify himself.
Notice the scripture says here, “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”.
It is almost as if he is asking for a loophole. Certainly, in the man’s thinking, there were certain kinds of people for which he did not have to “love as he loved himself.” In his own mind there are people like gentiles, Samaritans, and sinners that He did not have to love like He loved Himself.
In the face of our own sin, we have a choice. We can admit our guilt, confess it to God and others, and receive their forgiveness, or we can seek to justify our actions and try to convince ourselves and others why our sin isn’t really that sinful.
One of these strategies ends in our forgiveness. The other does not.
The Bible is very clear.
(9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9
- Is there sin in your life? Confess it to God and seek His forgiveness.