Having revealed the rich young man’s knowledge of God’s law we hear the question that echoes in every man’s heart.
Which commandments do I have to keep?
Do I have to keep the Ten Commandments?
Do I have to keep the dietary laws of the Old Testament?
Do I have to tithe?
Do I have to …
… observe all that I commanded you… (Matthew 28:20)
Lord, give me a list lest I die!
This young man was asking the wrong questions.
1 - Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life? (Matthew 19:16)
2 – Which ones? (verse 18)
Jesus messes with this in John 17 where He makes the stunning statement:
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. - John 17:3
Jesus wrecks this idea again when He describes the judgment.
Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' - Matthew 7:22-23
Wow Jesus, You pretty much destroyed that whole ‘good deeds’ thing!
You see, it’s not about a list of things to do.
It’s about a Man to love, a Shepherd to follow, a Heart to hear.
Yes there are all kinds of DOs in Christianity, and even in the mouth of Christ – hearers and not doers – these are the ones who fall into condemnation. But doers who aren’t knowers are just as lost.
Lord, I want to know You. I want to hear Your voice. I want to follow Your heart.
Come back soon.