Luke 18:18-30 An official asked Jesus, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (19) Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God. (20) You know the commandments: Never commit adultery. Never murder. Never steal. Never give false testimony. Honor your father and your mother." (21) The official replied, "I've obeyed all these commandments since I was a boy." (22) When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still need one thing. Sell everything you have. Distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then follow me!" (23) When the official heard this, he became sad, because he was very rich. (24) Jesus watched him and said, "How hard it is for rich people to enter the kingdom of God! (25) Indeed, 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." (26) Those who heard him asked, "Who, then, can be saved?" (27) Jesus said, "The things that are impossible for people to do are possible for God to do." (28) Then Peter said, "We've left everything to follow you." (29) Jesus said to them, "I can guarantee this truth: Anyone who gave up his home, wife, brothers, parents, or children because of the kingdom of God (30) will certainly receive many times as much in this life and will receive eternal life in the world to come."
The Official's Request
Every Jewish boy had to read and memorize whole books from the Bible during Jesus' time. This official, which came to Jesus, was not any different. The young official was probably a leader in the Synagogue or a member of the Sanhedrin. He was very wealthy and lived a comfortable life. He was a good man, and he kept the commandments of the Lord and considered himself faithful. It seems amazing to me that this young official new so much about the commandments of God and on how to live. However, he still asked Jesus a spiritual question. " What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Knowledge of the truth is useless unless it is applied to daily living. The young official lived a good life but deep down he knew there was more to it.
Jesus' response to the young official was so radical and so abrupt. It is obvious everyone was taken back by the message. He first responded with a rebuttal question. " Why do you call me good? No one is good except God." I believe Jesus responded in this manner to get the official thinking. Thinking about being good and how our goodness could never match up to the goodness of our God. We can follow every word in the bible and live just a good life but there is still something missing. Living the message without knowing the messenger on a personal level leaves the believer without the power behind the message.
Then Jesus gave the young man the ten commandments test. He didn't ask if the official kept the commandments. He asked if he knew the commandments. He was trying to get him to search out his heart and dig a little deeper. Sometimes the questions we asked God are given the response by a question itself. This is meant to make us dig deeper and seek the Lord even more.
Next Jesus responded with a powerful statement. A statement that was revolutionary and totally opposite from the present day teachings. " You still need one Thing." What? The young official had kept all the commandments. He had lived a good life and went to Synagogue faithfully every Saturday. " What was Jesus saying?" . Even in modern day Christianity this statement would shake the core of most churches. Today if you simply go to a building called C-H-U-R-C-H just on Sundays, get baptized in water, sing a few worship songs and say A-MEN a few times to the pastor's message then you would be a CHRISTIAN. Jesus was telling the young official that his actions were not good enough. In fact, nothing we do can be GOOD ENOUGH to get us in right standing with the Lord. We need the Lord , and we have to follow His truth. Unless we are WILLING to give up all to follow Jesus, then we are not really followers of Him at all. Does that statement scare you? Does it shake you a little bit to your core? It does me! This is totally radical and life changing. Jesus did not make it easy to come to the kingdom. He challenged the hearts of men with His words and actions. He told everyone to deny self and to take up your cross, leave father and mother, sell all you have, let the dead bury the dead, drink his blood and eat his flesh in order to be apart of His kingdom. " What was He thinking?"
Jesus did not know how to keep people in His church, did He? He was supposed to be vague in his messages and not use too many scriptures. He was suppose to motivate the masses in being the best they could be. He was suppose to get others to sow seed into His ministry; so they could get a heavenly blessing back. He needed to create a comfortable place for all to meet. His message should have been about how God wants to bless them. " I come to get my blessings! O Yeah!" He should have told everybody about God's love and how that love keeps you saved for ummm like ever. In other words, it is ok to cuss, commit adultery or fornication, cheat people, lie ( only white lies), gossip, and live any way you want to during the week. Just on Sundays, the magic begins. Once we step into those magical castles called churches; we all can become Christians.( Quick grab some fairy dust.) Is it me but is there something wrong with this picture? Yet we stand in the frozen spaces of time and here the echoing words of Christ saying. " YOU STILL NEED ONE THING." We need the one thing that sets us part from our fleshy living and crosses us over to the spiritual. We need the one thing which revolutionizes our life and causes our passions to be altered. Please don't get me wrong. I know there is a thing called GRACE. Trust me I am thankful for that Grace. None of us would be here today without his wonderful grace. His compassion is never ending and His love never fails. That is His commitment to us. What is our commitment to Him? This is the meaning behind " You still need one Thing." The " ONE MORE THING" has to be sacrificial. It has to be out of obedience and self-denial. The true believer will lay down his life for the Message and for others. We have to keep a balance to this truth. The average human being only has 70 to 80 years to make a difference. We have a short time to surrender our all to Him on this side of the Reign. Just when we think; we have done it all. Just when we think ; we have our Christian duties in check. Jesus is saying, " You still need one thing."