Read Luke 17 -- 18
In Today's Reading:
Forgiveness; 10 lepers; Christ's return foretold; rich young ruler; Christ's death and resurrection foretold; healing of a blind beggar
In a lifetime, 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). Matthew points out that he was a young man (Matthew 19: 20,22) and all three of these Gospels mention his great wealth. Kneeling before Jesus, he asked: Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said to him. . . . Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother (Luke 18:18-27; also Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31). Jesus did not question the ruler's integrity when he said, All these I have kept from my youth up (Luke 18:21). No one ever addressed a scribe or a rabbi as Good Master — only God was called good. But, all three of these Gospels also report that he called Jesus the Good Master. He recognized Jesus as more than just another Teacher, but as the Master Teacher.
Since he knelt before Jesus, he clearly understood that Jesus was the Messiah and that, beyond this physical life, there was an eternity, a real personal existence that he wanted to inherit.
In response to his most vital question: What must I do, Jesus told him: You lack one thing: sell all that you have, and distribute to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful (sad): for he was very rich (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 (Revelation 1:5). The young ruler's response revealed that he would not seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). He was unwilling to let Jesus be Lord of his life. He would not give up the pleasant life or his proud position that he loved so much, as well as the influence, prestige, and financial securities that his wealth provided. He was a good man, and very religious, but sadly he was eternally lost. Note carefully that the Bible does not condemn anyone just because they are rich.
The Apostle Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write: Charge (instruct) them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded (conceited), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, Who gives us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing (ready) 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 Timothy 6:17-19).
In your walk through life, your daily decisions reveal what you really believe. The young ruler illustrates why Jesus said: Narrow (confining) is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:14).
17:8 sup = eat, to take something to eat and/or to drink; 17:9 trow = trust, think, give acceptance to; 18:1 faint = lose heart, give up; 18:3 Avenge = Provide justice and protection, vindicate, defend.
For Luke 18:20: See Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20.
BP Staff: Bernice Rathbone · Pray for Wallbuilders Inc. and David Barton · Government Official: Rep. Zach Wamp (TN) · Country: Afghanistan (26 million) in central Asia · Major languages: Pastu and Afghan Persian (Dari) · Hostile to Christian evangelization. For a Muslim to convert to Christianity, their law requires automatic execution · Prayer Suggestion: Ask God to show you His ways (Exodus 33:13).
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 2:20