Luke 10:25-28 How To Inherit Eternal Life

28 November 2016

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” (Luke 10:25-28)


The most popular lesson taught in the account of the Good Samaritan is how we should be loving everyone equally. While this is an excellent lesson in discipleship, I believe this conversation is included by Luke for a different reason. Before this lesson to the lawyer, there has been an ongoing tension between the disciples of who would be greatest in the kingdom when Jesus is gone. There is an unhealthy, and pointless, struggle of self justification.

The Pharisees commonly taught that “everyone that justifies himself below (on earth), he justifies himself above (in heaven).” This lawyer comes to Jesus on this premise of appearing to be righteous before men. He therefore asks Jesus what must HE do in order to inherit eternal life.

Rather than directly answering this man’s question, Jesus uses the same technique the Pharisees use. He responds to the lawyer’s question with a question of His own. By doing this, He logically leads the man to convict himself rather than finding the grounds for self-justification he desires.

When asked what the law says, the lawyer shows a clear understanding of what the law SAYS. Jesus agrees and simply says, “Go ahead, do that. All you have to do is live a perfect life, and you’re in!”

This exposes the man’s helplessness and ours.

Paul teaches us this same doctrinal point:

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)


Paul will go on to teach the same principle that Luke is showing in his gospel. All attempts to self justify or to save oneself by will or work are futile.


Jesus had set His face toward Jerusalem a few chapters before in Luke. Jesus dying on the cross is the only hope that men have for salvation. We are justified freely by His blood having His righteousness imputed to us.

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22nd September 2017 14:06

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