The ruler asks a question,
o “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18b, HCSB).
This question has a sincerity to it. But we don’t know the circumstances which prompted it. We all know that, during times of personal crisis, that people are open to discussions of spiritual matters. The Holy Spirit can use those times, as well as other circumstances, to speak to people of their need for Jesus Christ.
The writer of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes says, in speaking about God,
o “He has also put eternity in their hearts” (Ecclesiastes 3:11b, HCSB)
God has designed people, including this ruler, to think about eternity and to realize that there is something more to living than just this life on Earth. Many of these things could have entered this ruler’s mind and prompted his question. But, there is something wrong with his question.
Did you catch it?
He says, “What must I do.”
The ruler’s question implies that he believes eternal life is a matter of personal effort or action. The ruler wanted to have eternal life, but he also wanted to do something in order to attain or inherit it.
Next Week: The answer