Christian conduct includes unlimited and unconditional forgiveness, faith, and surrender to the will of God as revealed in His Word (Luke 17:1-10). Signs that the end is near (17:20-37). Lessons from an evil judge (18:1-8); self-righteous Pharisee and humble tax collector who both pray (18:9-14); warning for those with riches (18:18-28); assurance of gaining the best in this life and life everlasting (18:29-30); a blind man who would not give up (18:35-43).
No one question could be of greater importance than that of a certain ruler (Luke 18:18) who came . . . running, and kneeled to Him (Jesus) (Mark 10:17). He was a young man (Matt. 19:20,22) and possessed great wealth. Kneeling before Jesus, he asked: Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him. . . . Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother (Luke 18:18-20; also Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31). No one ever addressed a scribe or a rabbi as Good Master — only God was called good. Three Gospels report that he recognized Jesus as more than just another Teacher, but as the Good Master (Teacher). He knew that he wanted to prepare for eternity after this physical life.
In response to his most vital question: What shall I do, Jesus told him: Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich (Luke 18:22-23). This should not be twisted to mean that eternal life can be earned by self-effort or sacrificial giving. Eternal life can only come from Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood (Rev. 1:5). He was unwilling to let Jesus be Lord of his life. He would not give up the influence, prestige, and financial security that his wealth provided. He was a good man, and very religious, but sadly he was eternally lost.
We must: Charge (instruct) them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded (conceited), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate (share); Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life (I Tim. 6:17-19).
Your lifestyle and daily decisions reveal who you are really living for. The young ruler illustrates why Jesus said: Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matt. 7:14).
Thought for Today:
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer (Rom. 12:12).
17:8 sup, dine; 17:9 trownot think not; 18:1 faint give up; 18:3 Avenge provide justice and protection.
For Luke 18:20: See Ex. 20:12-16; Deut. 5:16-20.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Official: Rep. Zach Wamp (TN) • Country: French Guiana (168,000) on the northern coast of South America • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 85% Christian; 9.5% non-Religious/Other; 2% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Do not be fearful or live in dread of what might happen; trust the Lord to take care of you (Ps. 112:7).
Memory Verse for the Week: Mark 4:19