Day 2: "Jesus Our Teacher"

Day 2: "Jesus Our Teacher"
Most Jews of that day would assume that the way to eternal life was through obedience to the law. Yet a man came running to Jesus, wanting to know, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” We don’t know what he had previously heard, but something in Jesus’ teaching (and perhaps the authority behind that teaching) convinced him that in spite of his efforts he was missing something.
The man may have even been acknowledging the source of Jesus’ teaching and authority in calling Him “Good Teacher.” To the Jews, God is preeminently good (1 Chron. 16:34); in fact, since God’s goodness was supreme to them, they never referred to anyone else as good. Jesus’ question, “Why do you call me good?” wasn’t to dispute the man’s idea of calling Him good, but rather to lead the man to reflect on the significance of what he was saying. If God is good, and Jesus is good, then Jesus is God.
Almost as if to support the Jewish notion that obedience to the law brings eternal life, Jesus listed several of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-16). Jesus started where the man was—striving for eternal life through keeping the law—but He would show the man that wasn’t enough. The man quickly acknowledged his obedience, but Jesus called the man to a greater level of obedience, beyond just keeping the letter of the law.
What was the “one thing” the man lacked? He lacked a radical trust in God that would allow him to abandon everything and follow Jesus. He could demonstrate his devotion to God by having more compassion for the needy than love for his own wealth.
To some, those words may sound harsh. But let’s not lose sight of why Jesus spoke them: “Looking at him, Jesus loved him.” Jesus’ love drove everything He said and did, including His teaching. The Jesus of the Bible is not the stoic, halo-topped European actor with the British accent we’ve watched so often in movies. He is not a, one-dimension, flannel-board messiah. Our Lord felt great compassion, and that compassion motivated His sacrificial actions done in love.
· “When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them …” (Matt. 9:36)
· “As He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them …” (Matt. 14:14)
· “Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes.” (Matt. 20:34)
· “Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand …” (Mark 1:41)
· “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her …” (Luke 7:13)
· “As He approached and saw the city, He wept over it …” (Luke 19:41)
Out of His love, Jesus affirmed this man’s actions and gave him one very powerful piece of advice: Sell all he had and give it to the poor. Because in doing so, he would store up treasures in heaven.
Out of His love, Jesus conveyed to this man—and us!—an explosive truth, an awesome reality that ought to guide all that we do. Life isn’t just about what we can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. Life goes beyond what we know now. Treasures in heaven are far more valuable than storage rooms full of stuff.
Out of His love, Jesus urged this man to let go of all the things there were keeping him from experiencing true treasure.

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