WHAT I LOVE ABOUT JESUS
And a ruler asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Luke 18:18-19)
Jesus was not denying that He is good or that He is God, but He was questioning the man’s understanding of who He is. Many people accept the idea that Jesus was a good man and a good teacher, but reject the idea that He is God. However, He taught that He is the Son of God, who came to die for our sins and rise again. So if He is not God, then He is not a good teacher and He is not a good man! Let’s listen in again as He tells the man what he needs to do to have eternal life…
“You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” (v. 20)
Wait a minute! Doesn’t the Bible say that we are saved by God’s grace through our faith in Jesus? Is Jesus teaching salvation by works here? No. He is simply answering the man’s specific question. The man thought he could DO something to earn eternal life, so Jesus told him (theoretically) what he would have to DO – obey the commandments. (Jesus listed some by way of example.)
And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. (vv. 21-23)
The man thought he had successfully obeyed the commandments. He must not have been in the congregation the day Jesus preached His famous Sermon on the Mount. In that message, Jesus explained that if we lust, we have committed adultery in our hearts, and if we hate, we have committed murder in our hearts. So, Jesus began to test him on his obedience of the law. The first commandment says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3) Here was the Son of God, standing in front of him, asking if he was willing to give up his wealth for God. The man would not do that, because his money was his god. Jesus didn’t need to test him on the other nine commandments, because Heaven’s standard is perfection, and the man had already failed the test.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” (Romans 7:18a) If we had to rely on our own goodness to get to Heaven, none of us would make it there. We have all broken the commandments; we have all fallen short. Jesus is the only one who has obeyed the law perfectly. He was good on my behalf.
I love Jesus’ Goodness.
Today’s Good News is that Jesus was good on our behalf. If we confess our sin and accept Him as our Saviour, we will be credited with His righteousness, as if we had never sinned!
Now, go share the Good News…
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