Luke chapter 10, beginning at verse 25, we hear this story.
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.”
Doesn’t it seem a bit odd how Jesus responds to this man? When he asked him how do I get eternal life, how do I get heaven, and he points him to the rule book? To the law? Love God, love your neighbor perfectly, and you will have heaven.
What’s Jesus doing here?
What Jesus is doing is beating this man over the head with the law. With the commandments. Why? To show him the impossibility of following them perfectly enough to be worthy of heaven on his own. To show him that he needs a Savior. That he might share with him the truth that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
God has given us two chief teachings in the scriptures—the law and the gospel. The law, mainly to expose our sin, and the gospel to comfort us with the fact that Jesus is the one that is paid for all of our sins and given us the precious gift of heaven.
Treasure these tools that God gives in his word to point us ever towards Christ and the comfort he gives of everlasting life. Amen.