Summary: Jesus answers the question - How can we inherit eternal life? 1. By having the right Vertical Relationship - Loving God with ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL AND MIGHT. 2. Having the right Horizontal Relationship - LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF
Title: Inheriting Eternal Life
Proposition: In this passage Jesus answers the question - How can we inherit eternal life. 1. By having the right Vertical Relationship - Loving God with all your heart, mind and strength 2. Having the right Horizontal Relationship - loving your neighbor as yourself
Grace and peace this morning from God our Father and from Jesus Christ His Son who came to take away the sin of the world!
This morning, take a moment and think about the following questions for a minute or two.
+ WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE TRUE MEANING OF LIFE HERE ON EARTH?
+ WHAT IS THE MEANING OF YOUR LIFE IN PARTICULAR?
+WHY DO YOU THINK YOU ARE LIVING RIGHT HERE AND NOW?
+ HOW CAN YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOUR LIFE HAS MEANING?
Those are some of the questions that our lawyer no doubt was struggling with in Luke 10:25 - 37. He understood that he only gets one chance to live this life here on earth and he wants to do it in such a way that at the end of it he is offered eternal life. His philosophy and theology of life could be summed up this way:
+He believes in God
+He believes that God desires to grant him eternal life
+He believes that what he does in this life will help determine if he will in fact experience eternal life
+He believes if he lives the right way then the LORD will allow him to inherit eternal life
I think all of us here this morning would have liked this man. We would have appreciated his straight forward thinking and straight forward questions. He doesn't want to mess around and miss out on his opportunity to inherit eternal life. He wants to know from Jesus what He should do.
I deeply appreciate St. Luke for sharing with us this story. Many of us here this morning want to also know the answer to life that this lawyer was asking. We don't want to mess around with our lives and find ourselves outside of God's will and not being able to enjoy eternal life. We can look at the stars in the sky and the world all around and know that there is more than just this human existence. There is something deep in our inner core that tells us that there is more. There is more than just our 85 years or so of life here on planet earth.
We want to live forever and ever and ever. We too want to inherit eternal life. So, we come to this passage with our hearts, minds and souls open. We want to make sure that we understand perfectly clear what Jesus told this lawyer and do them.
When I was around ten years of age, our family got our first color TV set. Up to that time we only had a black and white TV. That was okay because the majority of TV shows at that time where filmed in black and white. However, all kinds of shows were now being filmed in color and dad wanted a color TV. It was a big day in our household.
We had a cousin that worked on TV's so he came over to make sure everything was working properly. Dad wanted everything just right so that we would have the best TV viewing possible. I remember watching him as he worked on getting all the right colors lined up. I also remember at some point he started working with the vertical and horizontal settings. If he turned these little knobs one way the picture got all squiqually and out of focus. But as he worked with it he would take all the lines out of suddenly we had this amazing color picture. That night we were able to watch all of our favorite shows for the first time in color. It was incredible!
After a while we all learned how to use those two little buttons - the vertical and horizontal settings. Every so often when we turned the TV on either the vertical of the horizontal lines would be all fuzzy and out of alignment. You couldn't watch TV. So, you would have to turn those little knobs until both the vertical and the horizontal were in proper alignment.
When you look at Jesus' complete answer to the lawyer it really comes down to the same thing. You have to make sure that your own vertical and horizontal relationship are in the right and proper alignment. That is to say, you have to make sure that your Vertical (GOD) relationship and your Horizontal (loving your neighbor as yourself) are both in proper alignment.
Jesus' answer to that man is the same answer this morning He would give to any of us that would ask him the same question - "Jesus, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"