Last week, we looked at Micah’s response to the question of what God wants from us: to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with Him. (Micah 6:8) This week, we’re going to look at how Jesus answered a similar question in Luke 10:25-29.
A lawyer challenged Jesus by asking him this question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” That’s the ancient Jewish version of someone asking you or me what it takes to get into heaven.
Jesus’ response might surprise you. He replied by telling him to follow the law. Now, that doesn’t sound very much like the answer you would expect from the Son of God who came to save the world by grace. In other words, the Savior of the world is telling someone that he has to do good works.
How does that fit into the plan of salvation that Paul writes about?
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
The answer lies in the way the man asked the question. He wanted to INHERIT eternal life. To him, salvation was based on his heritage. He was a Jewish advocate of the law. So, Jesus told him to obey the law.
The cross hadn’t happened yet. The Jews related to God through the covenant of the law. Jesus was preparing their hearts for what was coming: the covenant of grace. How did He do that?
Throughout His ministry - from the Sermon On The Mount to the Last Supper - Jesus consistently preached the importance of a changed heart. So, Jesus dug deep into the book of Deuteronomy to take this lawyer down the pathway to a changed heart. All the works in the world can’t save you if your heart is like stone.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at how Jesus brought the heart into the law. He said that there are two laws that every law derived from. They give us all a new perspective about good works and the law.