"Do This and You Will Live"
Jesus sets a lofty goal here. He affirms the key to eternal life is to love God with all of who you are—your whole being—and to care for others as you do yourself. This is how to truly live.
On one hand it sounds simple, on the other, impossible. We wonder how to love God with all of ourselves? What does it look like to love other people the same way?
It’s not easy. In fact, it is impossible without God.
1 John 4:7 says, “for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God,” and later in verse 12, “If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”
He is the reason we can love. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
So we don’t depend on whatever strength we can muster up to earn eternal life. We joyfully, desperately, and assuredly rely on God’s Spirit working in us. Like the father in Mark 9:24 who said, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” we say, “Lord, I love. Help me to know how!”
And we walk forward in faith—studying the Scriptures, praying continually, and engaging the Church. We walk forward in freedom—reaching out to our neighbors next door and across the world—all the while trusting God to enable us to love.
At the end of this passage, Jesus says, “Do this and you will live.” He doesn’t instruct the lawyer to think about it more. Do it, he says. Do the hard work. Take action.
What will you get in return? What your heart truly wants—Christ.
Colossians 3:4 says that Christ is our life.
A wonderful outcome of loving God and others is that the lover receives life. However hard or costly the loving is, the reward of knowing Christ deeper and fuller always outweighs it—and not just by a little. It eternally exceeds any “light affliction” we may endure (2 Corinthians 4:17).
So expend all that you have to give to the Lord today. Love without fear. Rely on His power to care for others, and rest in His bountiful grace when you fall short. Do this and you will live.