The Blueprint to Life
21 August 2017
Today’s Gospel tells us of the young man who asked Jesus the question ‘what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?’ This is a question that gets to the heart of life and faith. Let’s break open two key points from Jesus’ response to the young man.
First, Jesus says that there is ‘only one who is good’. This is the notion that James expressed when he says that all good things come from above (James 1:17). The greatest of these things is love (1 Cor 13:13); and, love comes from God, for God is love. (1 John 4:8). In order to understand the ‘goodness’ of a deed, we must first understand that it is a good thing because it comes from God.
Secondly, Jesus’ gives us a blueprint to ‘enter into life’. Not a life in the future, not something we need to do when in heaven, but a way to enter into the life we were created for, starting today.
This blueprint for ‘life’ begins with two relationships: with one another and with God.
Jesus says to this young man that he must follow the Commandments, handed down by God to Moses. But the Commandments he states are the last seven, all guiding our relationships with one another.
Jesus holds these relationships as the first key ingredient to life. Allowing God, allowing Grace, allowing the Holy Spirit, to flow through us through the good deeds we do to one another is central to our identity. But good deeds aren’t enough…
Christianity is not merely an ethical framework. Christianity is not a set of arbitrary Commandments guiding our interactions. Christianity stems from a personal encounter and an ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ.
The young man was an ethically good man. But he has been made for more.
Jesus called the young man, as He calls each of us, to ‘Come, follow me!’
Jesus called him to a life of freedom by ridding himself of all worldly attachments and to receive the ‘treasures of heaven.’
Jesus called him into a divine relationship that promises eternal life.
In short: the blueprint to life is simply loving our God and our neighbour with our everything.
Ask yourself, what are the attachments that hold you back from life?