Matthew 19:16–17 (ESV)
The Rich Young Man (Part 1)
behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter
life, keep the commandments.”
This is a loaded parable that I will be breaking down. We must never forget how this parable begins…, it
is foundational. It begins by a man coming to Jesus… not the other way around. He asks Jesus a question. This question is still a valid question that many people ask and want to know even today. A similar question today is “If
you died today… would you go to heaven?” A very valid question. Many people respond by saying “sure, I have killed or hurt anybody, or stolen anything. I am a good person.” Is getting into heaven based on what
Back to the question in today’s parable. “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” The young man wants to
know what he must do to receive eternal life. If Jesus told him to climb Mount Everest, then he would probably begin training and buying what he needs to make the climb. Jesus responds back in a cryptic response: “Why do you ask me about
what is good. Jesus responds that only one who is good. Only “one?” Jesus is shifting eternal life away from a “good deed”. That is, away from human works and is refocusing eternal life as being based on the
one God… who is good. We will dig deeper tomorrow.
I pray: O Lord, help me to not put my trust in myself or my “goodness”, but
in you alone. Amen.