Matthew 19:16–30 (ESV)
The Rich Young Man
16 And 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.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall
not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The
young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and
come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus said to his disciples,
“Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, 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.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly,
I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers
or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
The question asked by the rich young man seems to be a valid question… even today! “What good deed must I do to have eternal life?” Humans are wired to think if you can
beat it… buy it! Try to accomplish the good deed, or pay for it. Our eternal life is not earned or purchased but comes to us through the gift of faith. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “We cannot earn eternal life through our
good works; we can only receive it by God’s grace. But Jesus still rewards our sacrifices and service for Him. Trying to earn eternal life is a losing proposition. The perfection this requires is impossible for us sinners. Through faith in Christ, God
freely gives us the gift of eternal life. And if that were not enough, He rewards the sacrifices made for His kingdom a hundredfold!”
I pray: By
Your grace, Father, You have adopted us and made us heirs of eternal life. Move us to respond to such kindness by willingly sacrificing for You. Amen.