This is the most important question of the age: how to achieve immortality and eternal life? For an answer, we turn to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ who answered this exact question over 2000 years ago. And, from his answer, we learn more about him and who he is. As Jesus wondered about teaching, the crowds gathered to listen to him. On many occasions, the religious leaders tried to test him. Let’s listen to this time…
One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” (Luke 10:25-26)
This is a brilliant response because the man was an expert in religious law, he was an expert in “the law of Moses.” His answer is accurate and profound…
The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27)
There are 8 other commandments and hundreds of statutes and regulations, but this expert in the religious law of Moses cut right to the heart of the matter. He really knew his stuff.
“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” (Luke 10:28)
This is consistent with Jesus Christ’s answer to another questioner…
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” (Matthew 22:34-36)
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
This religious law expert, like zealous religious experts of today, could not accept such a simple explanation that cut right to the heart of his man-made religious system. He wanted to deny his own need of a savior by being his own savior. He wanted to be his own law giver, he wanted to be his own law keeper, and he wanted to be his own law judge.