June 18, 2017

How Good Do We Have To Be?

Somewhere in the gospels a man traditionally known as “the rich young ruler” comes to Jesus, and trusting that Jesus is someone who teaches with profound authority, he asks him a question that haunts him. He must fear, to some degree, that his riches mean that he has already received his reward in life, and that heaven may be a slim prospect, so he asks Jesus, “What must I do to be saved?”  Those are the words he uses, but what he, in fact, is asking is, “What is the minimum requirement I have to do for God to smile on me?”  Or, to use a variation of the title I adopted for the sermon,  “How good do I have to be?” It’s an honest question, and one that all of us could benefit from asking from time to time – especially in these times when people go about toting guns in the name of some unholy cause they believe gives them purpose in life.