In Mark’s Gospel we meet a man, who wanted eternal life. He ran to Jesus, knelt before Him, and asked, ‘Good Teacher, WHAT SHALL I DO that I may inherit eternal life?’, Mark chapter 10 verse 17. We applaud him for approaching Jesus, about a spiritual issue, in a respectful manner. Jesus was impressed with him and ‘looking at him, loved him’, verse 21. However, there were key errors in his thinking.
Firstly, he had to learn that Jesus was more than a ‘Good Teacher’. He did not realise that he was speaking to God! Later on, Jesus prayed, ‘Father . . . glorify Your Son . . . as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him’, John chapter 17 verses 1-2. This man needed to know that Jesus was God and that only He had the authority and power to give eternal life to him.
Secondly, the man had to learn that eternal life was a gift from God and could not be obtained by any works that we might DO! Jesus quoted to him certain of the ten commandments and he responded, with confidence, that he had kept them all. Jesus replied, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven’, Mark chapter 10 verse 21.
Jesus had intentionally omitted two of the commandments, ‘And you shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength’, and ‘You shall not covet’. The man could not claim to have kept these – he loved and coveted his wealth and possessions more than he coveted spiritual security!
‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’, Romans chapter 6 verse 23. ‘WHAT WILL YOU DO?’