What Jesus Did! 'I've Obeyed All These?' — Luke 18:20-21

Sunday, October 25, 2015

"{But I will answer your question.} You know {God's} commands: 'You must not do the sin of adultery, you must not murder anyone, you must not steal anything, you must not tell lies about other people, you must honor (respect) your father and mother ...'" But the leader said, "I have obeyed all these commands since I was a boy!"
— Luke 18:20-21
Illustration of Luke 18:20-21 — "{But I will answer your question."

Key Thought

While most of us can say we have never been guilty of murder, adultery, or possibly even stealing, very few of us can honestly say that we have never spoken false words in conversation and have always done what is honorable toward our parents. Even in the best of lives, there is some hedging of the truth or exaggeration that slips into conversation. Even in the best of children there are weak moments or difficult spans of time where we have done less than we could and should to honor our folks. Jesus helps the young man confront the real issue in his life by answering his question even though the basis of the question was probably false. (In the previous verse he had asked Jesus a key question about inheriting eternal life.) This man, however, claims to be a law keeper deluxe! He has obeyed them all since he was young. However, I'm not sure he was being fully honest with himself. I know I couldn't say what he said and I have never met a person who could say the same and be completely honest. How about you? Can you justify yourself on the basis of keeping the law? Are you trying to be righteous simply by being better and obeying more completely than others? In the discussion that follows, Jesus penetrates to the heart of the issue. What would Jesus need to do to speak to your heart?

Today's Prayer

Father, the loving and eternal God, thank you for your grace that has forgiven me of my sins. Forgive me of my moments of self-righteous arrogance. Humble me gently till I can see that my righteousness is based on Jesus' perfect gift and not my perfect obedience. Then, dear Father, I ask by the power of your Holy Spirit, that you help conform me more perfectly to the person you want me to be. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

So now people that are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty. Why? Because in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit that brings life made you free. It made you free from the law that brings sin and death. The law was without power because the law was made weak by our sinful selves. But God did what the law could not do. God sent his own Son to earth with the same human life that other people use for sin. God sent his Son to be an offering to pay for sin. So God used a human life to condemn (destroy) sin. God did this so that we could be right like the law said we must be. Now we don't live following our sinful selves. We live following the Spirit.

Romans 8:1-4

The Lord is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And our faces are not covered. We all show the Lord's glory. We are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory. This glory comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18

All people have sinned and are not good enough for God's glory. People are made right with God by his grace (kindness). This is a free gift. People are made right with God by being made free from sin through Jesus Christ. God gave Jesus as a way to forgive people's sins through faith. God forgives by the blood (death) of Jesus. God gave Jesus to show that he always does what is right and fair. God was right in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins. And God gave Jesus to show today that God does what is right. God did this so that he could judge rightly and also make right any person that has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:23-26

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.