What Jesus Did! 'What Else?' — Matthew 19:17-20

Saturday, September 9, 2017

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?"
— Matthew 19:17-20
Illustration of Matthew 19:17-20 — "I have obeyed all these things. What else do I need?"

Key Thought

Wow, can you believe somebody actually had the audacity to say it! "I've obeyed all these, so what's next for me to check off my list so I can go to heaven?" We sometimes think a checklist might be nice so that we could check off the items we need to do to ensure our entry into heaven. Thankfully God didn't give us one. The Old Testament Law was a list of commands and demands God gave, but no one could fulfill it. All fell short. Even worse, many tried to judge themselves by comparing themselves with others to see how many more things on the list they could check off than the other person. Most sad of all, in the process of checking lists and comparing righteousness, many forgot to give their hearts to God. They made something beautiful and precious into religious formality and facade. The young man in this story falls into this last category. He was not a bad person. In fact, compared to most in his day he was probably most exemplary. But his list left little room for giving himself, and what he held most dear, to the Lord. It was the one "thing" he lacked, and it was everything, because he hadn't yielded his heart.

Today's Prayer

Holy and loving Father, I offer you my heart this day. I want my heart to be wholly yours—without shadows and without rival allegiances. I know there will be days in my future when I won't live up completely to that commitment, but with your Spirit's help and guidance, I will always try to yield my heart to you. In Jesus' name I pray. 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

You are hypocrites ! Isaiah was right when he spoke about you. Isaiah said: 'These people say they honor me, but they don't really make me an important part of their lives. Their worship of me is for nothing. The things they teach are only rules that people have made.'"

Matthew 15:7-9

So are we Jews better than other people? No! We have already said that Jews and non-Jews are the same. They are all guilty of sin. Like the Scriptures say: "There is no person without sin. None! Why? Because no person can be made right with God by following the law. The law only shows us our sin. But God has a way to make people right without the law. And God has now shown us that new way. The law and the prophets told us about this new way. God makes people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this for all people that believe in Christ. All people are the same. 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.

Romans 3:9-10, 20-25

If you try to be made right with God through the law, then your life with Christ is finished—you have left God's grace (kindness).

Galatians 5:4

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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.