AM March 31st Luke 18

March 31st         How to Inherit eternal life – enter the Messianic kingdom

18: And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19: And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20: Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21: And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22: Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23: And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24: And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 25: For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26: And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? 27: And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. 28: Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. 29: And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, 30: Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Jesus will rise again

31: Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32: For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. 34: And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

Jesus heals a blind man

35: And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: 36: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. 37: And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. 38: And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 39: And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 40: And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, 41: Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. 42: And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. 43: And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

Here Luke tells us of an interesting case that presented itself to Christ. A certain ruler asked Christ, ‘What must l do to inherit eternal life?’ Christ responded in two ways. First he challenged his use of the phrase ‘good master’. This was probably because it was either a custom in those days or it was customary for this man to refer to certain people as ‘good master’. It might have been that he was saying this to flatter Christ. Christ was not having any of it. He questioned his use of the phrase altogether saying that Only God is good. Then having corrected that, Christ referred the ruler back to the Mosaic Law. He said, ‘you know the commandments – Do not commit adultery etc. The ruler replied, ‘I have done all these from my youth up’. So how did Christ respond to this? Did he say, ‘Oh no, you haven’t’? What Christ said was, ‘You lack one thing, sell everything that you have and come and be my disciple. So what has this got to do with being saved? Nothing. We are not talking about being saved. We are talking about a Jewish leader living righteously according to the Mosaic Law in such a way that he will be raised from the dead to enter the kingdom of heaven. The Jews believed that the height of law keeping was not about not sinning, but positively doing righteous deeds. And they were right. According to Jewish understanding the height of Law keeping was charity. That is giving of ones wealth to the poorest of the poor. Cornelius was commended as was Dorcas for exactly this. So what happened to this man? Christ presented to him the ultimate expression of Jewish law keeping and he found it too hard to keep - because of covetousness. Christ then went on to explain how difficult it was for those who have money to give it away and thus keep the true spirit of the law and in doing so enter the Messianic Kingdom. The disciples were very much surprised. Don’t forget that they had left their nets but the ships still belonged to them, they had not given up everything and sold them and given the money to the poor. Peter says, ‘We have given up everything’. Christ does not argue the point. But he says that those who do give up everything will receive a hundred fold back in return in the kingdom and eternal life. Under the Law there could not be a more meritorious arrangement. At this time Christ reveals the path to the cross, but they did not understand it and it was hid from them. On the steep road west to Jerusalem from Jericho the blind man Bar-timaous calls out for healing. He calls on Christ the Son of David - The title of the Messiah. Some people tried to silence him but he cried out even more. Eventually Christ called for him and when he came, Christ asked a simple question. What do you want me to do? He said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. Christ said receive your sight your faith has saved you. He believed that Christ was able to do it for him before he had done it. That’s faith.

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