What Jesus Did! 'Just One Thing?' — Matthew 19:16

Friday, September 8, 2017

A man came to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to have life forever?"
— Matthew 19:16
Illustration of Matthew 19:16 — A man came to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to have life forever?"

Key Thought

There's something about our human nature that makes us want to find the best bargain. "What do I have to do to get that?" "Come on, you can let me have it for less than that!" "I can get the same thing for less down the street." Grace is a gift that is given to us for free! Yet grace requires us to surrender unconditionally to Jesus as Lord. In other words, we get what we cannot earn and do not deserve, but only when we surrender ourselves to Jesus' lordship and acknowledge that we could not do it for ourselves. Unfortunately there are always those who don't quite get it. "What one thing do I have to do?" the young man wanted to know. On our side of the Jesus story, we almost want to yell back, "It's not ONE thing, it's EVERYthing, while at the same time it's NOthing but grace!"

Today's Prayer

Holy God, I have several things in my life that really keep me from fully surrendering my heart to you. Help me as I offer these to you right now, trusting that the Spirit you gave me will empower me to put these things aside and let me enjoy the grace and salvation you have already so richly poured out on me. In Jesus' name I praise and thank you. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then the people brought their little children to Jesus so that Jesus could put his hands on them and pray for them. When the followers saw this, they told the people to stop bringing their children to Jesus. But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me. Don't stop them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people that are like these children." After Jesus put his hands on the children, he left there. A man came to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to have life forever?" Jesus answered, "Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. But if you want to have life forever, obey the commands." The man asked, "Which commands?" Jesus answered, "'You must not murder anyone, you must not do the sin of adultery, you must not steal anything, you must not tell lies about other people, you must honor (respect) your father and mother,' and 'you must love other people the same as you love yourself.' " The young man said, "I have obeyed all these things. What else do I need?" Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, then go and sell all the things you own. Give the money to the poor people. If you do this, you will have a rich treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me!" But when the man heard this, he was very sad. The man was very rich {and wanted to keep his money}. So he left Jesus. Then Jesus said to his followers, "I tell you the truth. It will be very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, I tell you that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." When the followers heard this, they were very surprised. They asked, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at his followers and said, "This is something that people cannot do themselves. But God can do all things." Peter said to Jesus, "We left everything we had and followed you. So what will we have?" Jesus said to the followers, "I tell you the truth. When the new world is made, the Son of Man willsit on his great throne. And all of you that followed me will also sit on thrones. You will sit on twelve thrones and you will judge the twelve family groups of Israel. And every person that has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or farms to follow me will get much more than he left. And that person will have life forever. Many people that have the highest place in life now will have the lowest place in the future. And many people that have the lowest place now will have the highest place in the future.

Matthew 19:13-30

Related Scripture Readings

But God's mercy is very great, and God loved us very much. We were {spiritually} dead. We were dead because of the things we did wrong against God. But God gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God's grace (kindness). And God raised us up with Christ and gave us a seat with him in the heavenly places. God did this for us who are in Christ Jesus. God did this so that for all future time he could show the very great riches of his grace. God shows that grace by being kind to us in Christ Jesus. I mean that you are saved by grace. And you got that grace by believing. You did not save yourselves. It was a gift from God. No! You are not saved by the things you have done. So no person can boast {that he saved himself}. God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would do good things. God had already planned those good things for us. God had planned for us to live our lives doing those good things.

Ephesians 2:4-10

It is the same for each of you. You must decide if you can leave everything you have to follow me. If not, you cannot be my follower!

Luke 14:33

Then Jesus said to his followers, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him, and he must follow me. The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me will save it. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he loses his soul. A person could never pay enough to buy back his soul.

Matthew 16:24-26

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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.