TRUST IN JESUS AS YOUR SAVIOR
Matthew 19:16 "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?"
On the surface, it appears that this rich young ruler was "right on" in the way he approached Jesus and sought salvation. He must have ran, kneeled down to Jesus, and openly professed Him as a Good Master. What could be wrong with that?
First, he acknowledged Jesus as good according to this world but not as the Lord. This is a pivotal point.
Every major religion of the world acknowledges that Jesus lived and will even admit that He definitely was a good man, but they won't recognize Him as the Lord who became man and the only way to God. If Jesus was only a good man, He couldn't save anybody but Himself. Jesus didn't just come to show us the way to God. He was the way, the only way unto the Father.
No man could come unto the Father, but by Him (Jn. 14:6). Jesus had made this point publicly many times before. This is the reason that Jesus responded to this young man's question the way He did. Jesus was saying, "God is the only one who is good. You must accept me as the way to God or not at all." Jesus was either who He claimed to be or He was the biggest fraud that ever lived. He has to be one or the other. He cannot be both.
Second, the young rich man asked what he could do to receive salvation. He trusted in himself and believed he could accomplish whatever good work Jesus might request. This is completely opposed to the plan of salvation that Jesus came to bring.
Jesus obtained salvation for us through His substitution and He offers it to us as a free gift. All we must do is believe and receive being led by His Spirit. This rich young ruler wasn't looking for a Savior. He was trying to be his own savior. This is the reason Jesus referred him back to the commandments. He either needed to keep all of the law perfectly or he needed a Savior. Jesus desired to turn this man from trusting in himself by showing him God's perfect standard, which no one could keep, so that then he would trust in a Savior.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
Matthew 19: 16-26
16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
18 "Which ones?" the man inquired.
Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.' "
20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."
8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."
9 Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
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