Who Asked Jesus What Must I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?

In the Bible, there is an intriguing story about a wealthy man who approached Jesus with a profound question. This man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Let’s delve deeper into this story and explore the answer Jesus gave.

The Story

The story is found in three of the four Gospels: Matthew 19:16-22, Mark 10:17-22, and Luke 18:18-23. Each account provides slightly different details, but the essence remains the same.

In Mark’s version of the story, we read that “As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him” (Mark 10:17). This man was young, wealthy and had lived a morally upright life. He had kept all the commandments from his youth.

Then he asked Jesus what more he could do to inherit eternal life. This question reveals that even though he had done everything required of him according to Jewish law, he still felt like something was missing.

Jesus’ response was unexpected. He said, “One thing you lack,” he said.

“Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mark 10:21).

The young man went away sad because he couldn’t bear to part with his wealth.

The Meaning

This story has deep meaning that goes beyond just wealth.

Firstly, it emphasizes that inheriting eternal life is not something that can be earned by good deeds alone. The rich young ruler had kept all the commandments since youth but still felt like something was missing.

Secondly, it highlights how wealth can be an obstacle to following Christ wholeheartedly. The rich young ruler’s love for money prevented him from fully committing himself to Jesus’ call.

Thirdly, it teaches us that following Christ requires sacrifice. For the rich young ruler, it was his wealth that he could not give up. For us, it may be something else.

The Application

So what can we learn from this story?

Firstly, we should recognize that inheriting eternal life is not something that can be earned by good deeds alone. We cannot rely on our own efforts to save ourselves.

Secondly, we must be willing to let go of anything that hinders us from following Christ wholeheartedly. For some of us, it may be our career, our relationships or even our possessions.

Finally, we must be willing to make sacrifices for Christ’s sake. This may mean giving up something we love or taking a risk for the sake of the gospel.

In conclusion, the story of the rich young ruler asking Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life is a powerful reminder that following Christ requires sacrifice and surrender. May we all have the courage to let go of anything that hinders us from fully committing ourselves to Jesus’ call.