WEEK 2: Eternal Life Is a Gift God Gives
READ: Luke 18:18
How can we have eternal life? A rich religious ruler asked Jesus this question. He knew Jesus was a good teacher. The man was the ruler of a synagogue, the place where Jewish people learned about God and read the Bible. He worked hard to keep God’s commandments. He had wealth, position, and honor. What didn’t he have? He feared he did not have eternal life. Surely the good teacher could tell him what he must do to deserve to enter the kingdom of God. How sad! The man had not yet believed the truth: Eternal life is not about doing; it’s about trusting Jesus.
TALK ABOUT IT
- Why should the man have known how to have eternal life?
- What did the man think he could do to have eternal life?
- What can you do to earn eternal life?
READ: Luke 18:19–22
What did Jesus want the man to know? Only God is perfectly good. The man knew Jesus was a good teacher. But Jesus is so much more than a good teacher. Jesus never sinned. Only Jesus kept God’s commandments perfectly. Jesus is God. Jesus sees our hearts and loves us. Why did Jesus tell the man to give away his money? Jesus does not tell everyone to give away their money. But Jesus knows our greatest need is to trust Him. The man trusted money more than God. Jesus reveals any sin that keeps us from knowing, loving, and trusting God.
TALK ABOUT IT
- Why did the man call Jesus good?
- Why did he not believe what Jesus told him?
- How does knowing why Jesus shows us our sin help you love Him?
READ: Luke 18:23–30
Did the man trust Jesus? No. He went away sad. He thought of eternal life as something to win. He did not see eternal life as knowing, loving, and trusting God (John 17:3). Jesus told His friends it is impossible for the rich to enter God’s kingdom (Eph. 2:8–9). For all of us, to enter God’s kingdom is as impossible as getting a huge camel through the eye of a tiny needle! Only God can change our hearts to know that Jesus gives more joy than anything we once loved more. Eternal life is a gift from God through faith in Jesus.
TALK ABOUT IT
- Why did the man go away sad?
- What does God do in our hearts that we cannot do?
- How does Jesus give more joy than anything money can buy?
PRAY: Father God, thank you that eternal life is a gift you give. I know I could never be good enough to make you love and forgive me. Jesus, help me remember that your joy is better than anything I think I need.
WHO IS GOD? GOD IS GOOD
The rich ruler did not trust Jesus. He thought eternal life was something to win. What is eternal life? Eternal life means living with God right now, then in heaven and in Christ’s kingdom forever (John 14:1–3; Rev. 11:15). Living with God in heaven will be more exciting than anything in this life (1 Cor. 2:9; Rev. 21:1–5). Can anyone win eternal life? No! When we see how good God is, how could we ever deserve God’s forgiveness? We could never escape the punishment for sin, which is death. But God is good to those who trust Him! Jesus’ life, death on the cross, and resurrection won eternal life for all His children. Why didn’t the ruler ask God for faith to trust Jesus? Jesus would have helped him love God more than money (Acts 20:21; Acts 3:19; 20:21; John 1:12; 3:16; 6:37). The joy of things we love—our favorite game, movie or cake—lasts only a short time. But as we trust Jesus, the joy of being God’s child changes what we love forever (Gal. 3:20; Psalm 23:4–6).
ACTIVITY: How did Jesus win new life for all God’s children? Are you sure you are God’s child? Jesus invites you to ask Him for life that lasts forever. Write a prayer. If you are not yet God’s child will you ask Him for faith to trust Jesus? If you are already God’s child will you ask God to help your love for Jesus to grow? Then enjoy reading your prayer aloud to Him!
MEMORY VERSE: Luke 18:27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”