“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
Repented. To repent means to change your mind. In context, it means changing your mind about Christ and the goodness of God (Rom. 2:4). “Change your unbelieving mind and believe the glad tidings of God’s grace and forgiveness” (see Mark 1:15). Jesus is talking about people who heard the gospel but refused to believe it.
“And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!
Hades; see entry for Matt. 16:18.
And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
(a) What shall I do to inherit eternal life? There is nothing you can to do to inherit eternal life – it’s an inheritance. You only get it when someone dies, and Someone did.
Like the lawyer in this story, some people are confused about salvation. They think that if they are basically good people, God will have to admit them into his kingdom. Such people are truly lost for they are relying on their self-righteousness. Salvation comes to us by grace, like an inheritance or gift. You cannot earn it. You can only receive it by faith (Eph. 2:8).
This same question was put to Jesus by wealthy Jewish official (Luke 18:18).
(b) Inherit eternal life. Eternal life is an inheritance to receive not a wage to be earned, and in Christ we have it.
In Christ we are heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14), heirs of eternal life (Matt. 19:29, Mark 10:17, Eph. 1:14, Tit. 3:7), and heirs of blessed and gracious life (Eph. 1:3, 1 Pet. 3:7, 9). See entry for Inheritance.
(c) Eternal life is living forever in union with Jesus; see entry for John 3:15.
And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?”
The Law refers to the Law of Moses, the commandments, ordinances, punishments, and ceremonial observances given to the nation of Israel through Moses (Jos. 8:31). This law is sometimes referred to as the law of commandments (Eph. 2:15) or the law of the Jews (Acts 25:8). See entry for The Law.
And he answered, “YOU SHALL 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 YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
(a) Love the Lord. Under the old law-keeping covenant, you were commanded to love the Lord your God with all your heart (Deut. 6:5, 10:12). The flow was from you to the Lord. But in the new covenant of grace, we love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). It is because we know the love of Christ (Eph. 3:19) that we are able to walk in his love (Eph. 5:2), keep ourselves in his love (Jude 1:21), and remain in his love (John 15:9, 10, 1 John 4:12, 16).
(b) The Lord your God. Most of the time when Jesus spoke about God, he called him Father (see entry for Luke 2:49). But when speaking to those under the law, he sometimes called him Lord God.
(c) Your soul. The original word for soul is psuche, from which we get the word psychology. This word is sometimes used in scripture to describe the soul-life we inherited from Adam, as opposed to the zoe– or spirit-life we receive from Jesus. See entry for New Life.
(d) Love your neighbor. This law, which comes from the law of Moses (Lev. 19:18), was quoted by Jesus more than once (Matt. 19:19, 22:39, Mark 12:31). James called it the royal law (see entry for Jas. 2:8).
(e) As yourself. “Loving others as yourself” can be contrasted with “Loving others as I have loved you” (see entry for John 13:34).
Under the old covenant, you provided the love and whatever else was needed to fulfil the law. But in the new covenant, we are able to love others because of the love we have from God (1 John 4:19). Under the old, you were the supply, but in the new, God supplies all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Php. 4:19).
And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.”
(a) Correctly. From a law-keeping perspective, the answer given by the lawyer was a model answer. It was identical to one Christ gave in Matt. 22:37–39.
(b) Do this. The law says, “Do this and live,” but no one ever kept the holy standard of the law. For this reason Paul called the law a ministry of death (2 Cor. 3:7). In contrast with the law, the gospel declares “believe and live” (John 3:15–16).
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