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 NLT
Illustration of Luke 18:20-21 NLT — "{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

  • Romans 8:1-4
  • 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
  • Romans 3:23-26


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.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.