“What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25)

By Rick Kirk

In 2 Peter 3:9, it reads “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 

This verse tells of the great love God has for man. It emphasises His love through His longsuffering (1 Cor13:4), in that He is patient (Rom 15:5), gracious towards our erring ways and merciful (Ps 116:5) to those who repent. More than that, He provides many opportunities for man to turn from their evil ways through the truth by His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on the cross so man can be saved from eternal damnation. Why should man perish when there is hope in Jesus?

Therefore when hungering and thirsting for righteousness, a seeker of truth would ask the right questions and be blessed with the right answers. The question asked by the lawyer in Luke 10:25 demands an answer. The question he asked is akin to some others asked in similar fashion in the New Testament. 

After the apostle Peter had preached a sermon about Jesus in Acts chapter 2, the Jews in Jerusalem were cut to their hearts and asked Peter, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” They had understood and were convicted of sin and were convinced that Jesus is the answer to their salvation. They wanted to know what they need to do to be saved. And when Peter told them, those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41) were added to the church (Acts 2:47).

The Philippian jailer had wanted to kill himself after he assumed that he had lost the prisoners due to an earthquake at midnight (Acts 16:30). When he was assured that they did not escape, he then asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul then told him to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  “Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.” (Acts 16:31-32)

In another account in the book Acts (chapter 8 verse 26 onwards), a high ranking Ethiopian official was returning home from Jerusalem. He was reading from Isaiah 53:7, 8 and could not understand. When queried, he confessed that he could not understand and sought the help of Philip asking, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” Acts 8:31.

In these three incidents, all asked the right questions which necessitate an answer be given to the seeker of the truth. Peter had provided hope in Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God (Acts 2:22) who made Him Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36) on the day of Pentecost. Paul spoke the word of the Lord, comforted and assured the jailer that he will be saved through Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at the Scripture in Isaiah, preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:35). All the men of God spoke of the saving grace of Jesus when questioned “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Let us act as the apostle Peter had encouraged us to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). We can help those who sincerely seek the way to eternal life by showing that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him” (John 14:6).

May we be prepared to answer those who searches for Him to satisfy the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness (Ps 107:9).

May we seek our Lord to help us be fruitful and to rise up to the challenges that are before us in the new year. Amen.

Happy New Year!