Eternal life cannot be earned, but God’s love makes a way for us.
Luke 10:25-37 (focus on verses 25-28)
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” says the expert in this story, as if entry into heaven is earned by doing good things. If you are a follower of Christ, you probably know that this question contradicts the entire point of Christianity – that people cannot earn their way to heaven with the good things that they do. That’s the whole reason we need Christ! What’s interesting here is that Jesus does not point out the flaw in the man’s line of questioning, but instead challenges the man’s knowledge of the law and invites him to gain a deeper understanding of God’s love. Sometimes we can know what the bible says without fully understanding. However, if we are consistent in prayer and reflection on the Bible, God will allow us to grow in our understanding of him, as we learn to love him and others better. Let’s face it; none of us are really that great at following the words in verse 27, no matter how hard we try. Only Jesus has ever lived out these commandments perfectly. Therefore, what we must do to inherit eternal life is to trust in him.
Head: Why do you think Jesus answered the man’s question in this way?
Heart: How can this passage help you to grow in your understanding of God’s word?
Hands: How does this passage encourage you to live out God’s word in light of his grace and mercy?
Prayer: Father God
You are loving and merciful. Thank you for sending Jesus to teach us how to love others through you. Thank you that although we fail at this every day, we can still have a relationship with you, as Jesus has bridged the gap. Lord please help me to put aside my pride and show mercy to others in all situations, as you have shown mercy to me. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
A song to listen to: Hillsong, Mercy Mercy
Stephanie Wiseman – Living Church Creek Road