Skip to content
Sep 20 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Day Fifty-six – Matthew 19:16-30

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you

But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. Matthew 19:22

The young man was asking for it! He could have taken Jesus first answer to his question and cheerfully gone his way. When he asked, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” Jesus told him to “keep the commandments” (vv. 16-17). But he was not satisfied with that answer and kept probing.

He came to Jesus wanting to know what good thing he could do to qualify for eternal life. The Lord responded with the surprising answer, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good . . .” Did he want to do good for humankind? Something that was pure good? Some ultimate good? If he wanted to see pure and ultimate good, he would have to look to God. If he wanted to enter life, he did not have to be God-like, he only had to keep the commandments.

So why did he keep pushing? Why did he feel the need to do something more worthy, noble, excellent, something beyond keeping the commandments? Perhaps in his heart he feared (orĀ knew) that something was missing, that God was still distant and eternal life was out of reach.

The conversation moved from good to perfect, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (v. 21). It was when he learned about this complete devotion to God that the young man went away grieving.

Are you thinking you can do something good that will to win for you eternal life from God? “With people this is impossible”–humans simply cannot be good enough (v. 26). But that does not mean we are hopeless, because “with God all things are possible.”

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for constantly pointing us to the merciful heart of the Father.
Thank You, O God, for Your mercy which “endures forever.”
Thank You, Spirit of God, for energizing us to do good beyond our own dreaming or effort.

Leave a comment