Reading Luke chapter 18, we make a great stride toward his goal and purpose. We found 9 of The 10 Essential Elements of The Real New Testament Message very early on when we employed The New Testament Literacy Tool. So much, so far, has been to depict persons as #7, believing upon the Savior, Jesus Christ; as well as a good many who would not. The call to one is to #6, repent and become the other! Luke’s means of doing so is by relating many accounts of Jesus’ divine wonder-working power, and perfect humanity, showing Himself to be God come in the flesh for his Greek readers. Then, in chapter 9, we read of the first intimation of Jesus’ purpose in coming, with verse 22, when He told them of the 2 elements of #5, the Gospel, and how that ‘he must be killed’, and ‘be raised to life’. With that verse, we had all 10 Essential Elements, but had yet to be told why. Here in chapter 18, we come back to these 2 elements of the Gospel again, and to soon explain their meaning and purpose next.
Taking up with Luke 18:15 thru 17, and the remaining parts of this chapter, we read Luke’s parallel account with Matthew and Mark of Jesus and the Little Children. Jesus makes it clear that #8, the New Birth of true conversion involves a #6, repentance and, particularly, a fully trusting #7, faith, as a little toddler to gain entrance into #10, the Kingdom. Just consider the kind of guileless and simple faith a toddler has in their parents, and believe God as simply and completely, where it concerns what is just about to come! And, just what is to come?
Verses 18 thru 30 is the account of The Rich Young Ruler. Note first, that the issue here is eternal life, as the passage opens and closes on it in verses 18 and 30. See that eternal life has 3 parallels in the passage, so they are very closely related. They are heaven, salvation and #10, the Kingdom. These 4 things equate. Make no mistake, that the issue of entrance into this blessed state revolves around the possession of individual and personal #1, righteousness, but that only God possesses it, says Jesus in verse 19. This righteousness of God finds expression in The 10 Commandments, as Jesus goes to the 7th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 5th with him; and he professes to have kept all those. By insisting this man sell all, give it away, and follow Him, Jesus revealed this man’s violation of the first 2 Commandments; as his wealth and possessions were his true god, and idols in his life.
Then, with verses 31 thru 34, Jesus begins to concentrate on preparing His Disciples for what is to come with Passion Week. He tells them plainly of the 2 elements of #5, the Gospel, that He will be killed, and rise from the dead. This must be paramount in the mind of Luke’s reader, for their meaning and purpose is about to be revealed, and comes first, before any effort to try to live outwardly the #9, New Life as a Christian ought. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell