“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.”
Luke 18 tells the story of a rich ruler, and Luke 19 tells about a rich tax collector.
These men were alike in many ways. They were both wealthy Jews who had careers in government work. They were both eager to meet Jesus. The rich ruler rushed to meet Jesus, and Zacchaeus the tax collector climbed a tree to see Jesus.
But these men were also very different. The ruler had carefully obeyed the commandments of God since he was young. Zacchaeus had not. As a tax collector for the enemy Romans, he was considered a traitor, and he commonly took more money than he needed to collect in taxes. So he was a thief. He was not one who lived by the Lord’s commands.
Zacchaeus, however, threw away his old lifestyle of greed when he met Jesus. He paid back four times what he had taken and gave half his possessions to the poor.
But the ruler did not. When Jesus invited him to value discipleship more than anything else, the man “became very sad, because he was very wealthy.” No matter how good we appear to be, we’re at a dead end if we depend on anything more than Jesus.
How do we receive eternal life? Through Jesus: “There is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.” Where do you place your ultimate trust?
Father, thank you for your grace, for giving us eternal life while we were still sinners. Help us to value our life with you more than anything else. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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