Receiving Eternal Life

In Matthew 19:16 a Rich Young Man, asks Jesus, “What good thing must I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus tells him to keep the commandments to which the Rich Young Man says he does. Then Jesus asks him to sell his possessions and you will have your treasure in heaven but the Rich Young Man walks away sad because he cannot do this. Thus, Jesus is implying to receive eternal life it is not just a matter of being good.

 So, what is Jesus asking us to do to receive eternal life? Having a 2-year-old grandson, he knows if he makes good choices he will be rewarded while choosing inappropriate options there will mean consequences. A comparison for me in our Christian faith is the development of Conscience. Our Conscience at this early stage begins to discern what might be making suitable choices which result in positive affirmation for child. I would argue a similar thought process was demonstrated by the Rich Young Man as my grandson as he was only talking about his own good deeds.

 Furthermore, as he grows older, he begins to build relationships with his parents, extended family, friends and wider community. He also needs to understand that he is bound by laws when making choices. Hence, the necessity of the person for the need for affirmation from the people he encounters as well as being constrained by rules at school the workplace and obeying the laws of the land. However, for the Rich Young Man while thinking he was making wise decisions by following the commandments, he failed to connect that the judgements you make should be of a benefit of others.

 Finally, as my grandson becomes a older man he made be conflicted by social justice issues that directly affect his relationships as well as lifestyle either in the work he pursues or his personal interests.  The question for me is he going to be motivated by selfish interests for personal gain or a voice for those inflicted by situations that cause injustice? This was the tipping point for the Rich Young Man who was sad that he could not bring himself to sell his possessions. I hope not only for my Grandson but also myself that we can selflessly act as advocates for those who have experienced injustice through our work, interests and our life. Then hopefully our treasures will be stored in heaven.