Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: "Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?" ... [Jesus said,]
"But to answer your question, you know the commandments: 'You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.'" The man replied, "I've obeyed all these commandments since I was young."
— Luke 18:18, 20-21 NLT
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 the conversation. Even in the best of children, there are weak moments or difficult periods where we have done less than we could and should to honor our parents. Jesus helped the man confront the real issue in his life by answering his question even though the basis of the question about eternal life may have been false. This man, however, claimed to be a law keeper deluxe! He said he had obeyed all the laws since he was young. However, he surely wasn't being fully honest with himself. I know I couldn't say what he said, and I have never met a person who could honestly say the same. How about you? Can you justify yourself based on keeping the law? Are you trying to be righteous simply by being better and obeying more completely than others? In the discussion that followed, Jesus penetrated to the heart of the issue. What would Jesus need to say to speak to your heart?
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 until I can see that my righteousness is based on Jesus' perfect gift and not my obedience. Then, dear Father, I ask by the power of your Holy Spirit, that you 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 series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show 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.