A certain ruler asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to obtain eternal life?” Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except the one God. You know the commandments: Don’t commit adultery. Don’t murder. Don’t steal. Don’t give false testimony. Honor your father and mother.” Then the ruler said, “I’ve kept all of these things since I was a boy.” When Jesus heard this, he said, “There’s one more thing. Sell everything you own and distribute the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come, follow me.” When he heard these words, the man became sad because he was extremely rich. When Jesus saw this, he said, “It’s very hard for the wealthy to enter God’s kingdom! It’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.” Those who heard this said, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus replied, “What is impossible for humans is possible for God.” Peter said, “Look, we left everything we own and followed you.” Jesus said to them, “I assure you that anyone who has left house, husband, wife, brothers, sisters, parents, or children because of God’s kingdom will receive many times more in this age and eternal life in the coming age.” (Luke 18:18-30, CEB)
What must I do to obtain eternal life? What is the bare minimum I can do and slip by and have life forever? And what is eternal life? Is that really life that is eternal that starts now, or is it something we wait for that is different than life here?
Jesus gives him 5 of what we know as the 10 commandments and he says he has kept all of these. Then Jesus says sell all you have and distribute the money to those in need. You see it is not about what we have, it is about the greatest commandment, and the second greatest which is like it, love God and love neighbor. If you have an abundance of stuff, you probably love that stuff more than God, and giving away the money is loving those around you. And we have a hard time letting go of what we have. But when we do we will have eternal life, not a life we wait on, but abundant life now!
Loving People. Loving God.