Luke 18:16-20

Luke 18:16 (KJB)
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Jesus then rebukes the disciples and tells them not to forbid the children to come unto Him. The word “suffer” is in the Imperative mood making it a command to the disciples. There will be many who will be saved when they are children and they have the same standing before the cross as every other believer. Then Jesus tells them that “of such” is the Kingdom of Heaven. This means that those believers who have the attributes of children such as trust, love, joy, innocence, simplicity, etc., are the type of believers which make up the kingdom of God. Too many think that you have to be well educated or have some type of training to be in the kingdom of God but all it takes is child like faith, the size of the mustard seed. When a child jumps from a step into his father’s arms, he is not worried about gravity or wind shear, all he is concerned about is his faith that daddy will catch him. That is the kind of child like faith we are to have in our Heavenly Father. We don’t worry about what the world thinks, we just know our Heavenly Father will catch us when we make that leap of faith.

Luke 18:17 (KJB)
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

No one can enter the kingdom of God with an arrogant self-serving attitude. The main attribute of a child is unquestioned trustfulness. When one comes into the Kingdom of God they must trust God and not hold an attitude of self-reliance. When we look at this verse, we see the word “receive” which indicates that salvation is a gift and cannot be earned. One must admit they are weak and helpless and in no way can enter the Kingdom of God without these attributes.

Luke 18:18 (KJB)
And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Then Jesus was approached by a rich young ruler. He then asked Jesus what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Notice that the man asked what shall he do. This is the main theme of religion, that is, that good works are to play a part in your résumé for Heaven. It seems every religion which wants to circumvent the cross will use works which they qualify as good. The only good works that a person can do is after they are saved. (Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. That is because God is the one who has created certain works for us to do. For those who think that works play a part in salvation, God calls that an abomination. (Prov 21:27 KJV) The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind? If you did one million good works per week, it will not net you the same result as one cross! He who has ears to hear!

Luke 18:19 (KJB)
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

The first thing that Jesus responds to is the way that the ruler addressed Him. He called Him “Good Master.” Now that was a nice greeting and it is true that Jesus was a Good Master. The reason Jesus quickly responded to that was because the man was looking at Him as a person and not as the Son of God. What I mean by that is without seeing Jesus as the Son of God, you will only see Him as a man and the Bible speaks very clearly that there is no man that does not sin. (Rom 3:12 KJV) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (1 Ki 8:46 KJV) If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; Both Old and New Testaments declare that there is no one that does not sin.

Then Jesus goes on further to state that there is only good one and that is God. He wants to break him of the habit of seeing men as good. He tells the ruler if he is going to enter into eternal life, then he must keep all the commandments. They must be kept perfectly because to break one is to break them all. (James 2:10 KJV) For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. If one can keep the commandments perfectly, and that includes all 613 of them, then you are a perfect person and will have eternal life.

Luke 18:20 (KJB)
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.

Then the ruler asks Jesus which commandments need to be obeyed? He probably asked Jesus so he could concentrate on doing those commandments which would be required for eternal life. In this verse Jesus gives five of the ten commandments. When one looks at them individually, one can proudly say they have kept them. However, there is one thing about the ten commandments and that is they are summaries and not possessive of lone meanings. For example, let us look at Thou shalt do no murder. I think most of us can honestly say that we have never murdered anyone. Now let us take it down one tier and ask the questions, have I ever murdered someone’s reputation? Have I ever wished someone would die? Have I killed someone’s marriage? Have I killed someone’s chance to be promoted at work? There are many ways to commit murder without taking a person’s life and one thinks they can keep the ten commandments and gain eternal life, they better check the many other ways murder can be committed and then be sure that they never committed even one of those infractions because it means eternity in hell.

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Jesus did not ask him about keeping the first four, which would be his relationship to God. Then of course Jesus asks him about his relationship with his parents and his relationship with others, not necessarily only his immediate neighbor. (Luke 10:36 KJV) Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? Jesus had told the story of the Good Samaritan and how he truly showed himself to be a true neighbor to the one who was injured. Would he be willing to show kindness to one who was considered an outcast by his people? Did he ever show a spark of prejudice toward any other race? Was he always obedient to his parents? Was there any time he spoke behind their backs, even as a child? When speaking about how good we are according to our works, we must bring into account every tenet, no matter how small it seems.