God’s Love Extends to All!

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:25-29)

This was a “test” given by an “expert” in God’s Law to try and trip up Jesus.  The man was trying to justify himself. Big mistake! Those who pursue this strategy always get more than they bargained for. I am reminded of the words God spoke through Daniel to a pagan king making sport of the Most High by drinking from the goblets from God’s temple and praising his own gods of gold, silver, wood, and stone:

You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.”
(Daniel 5:27)

The question this man posed had surfaced several times before. It was asked by the rich young ruler (recorded in both Matthew 19:16 and Luke 18:18) who was also seeking to justify his actions. And Nicodemus presented this question in honest earnestness to Jesus in John chapter three. Our expert in today’s verses lacked sincerity as seen in the two points given in the text: He wanted to test Jesus and he wanted to justify himself. Jesus drives him back to the Law by answering the man’s question with two others. The expert answers Jesus by quoting passages from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. But (and this is a BIG but), after hearing Jesus’ words hearkening him to obedience, the expert seeks to qualify Jesus’ command with the word “And who is my neighbor?” The proper response should have been “How can I do this?” or “I am not able–I need help.” This is the proper response for each one of us! The Bible tells us:

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
(Romans 3:21-24)

Paul tells us that no one is declared righteous by observing the Law because no one can keep the law perfectly–“all have sinned”. Our righteousness comes through faith in Christ–and it offered to each and every one of us!

Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. (Colossians 3:11)

All barriers are destroyed in Christ. We all come to the cross needy–no exceptions. And He clothes each and every one of us with His righteousness!

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. (John 3:16-21)

Take It to Heart

God’s motivation towards people is love–not limited to just one group of people or a few, but toward the whole world. The expression of His love was His most priceless gift–His precious Son.

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
(1 Corinthians 15:22)

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