What must I do to inherit eternal life? This is a question asked by so many people today. “What must I do to make it into heaven?” The rich man in the text told Jesus he had kept the commandments, yet Jesus finds him still lacking. The Lord tells him to sell all he has, give it to the poor and follow him. There will be no need for personal wealth as he will have treasure in heaven. Sadly, this fellow cannot bear to part with his worldly possessions.
So is that how we inherit eternal life? Does the act of passing on our wealth to the poor, filling our days doing good works, and keeping the commandments provide the final punch for our ticket to heaven? No! If we believe this we also will find ourselves lacking. To inherit, one must be an heir, someone to whom inheritance is passed down. Through Holy Baptism, God pours out his mercy and grace and makes us his beloved children. We are made inheritors, joined to the death and resurrection of Jesus through water and the Word. As heirs, we are free to share what God provides, for because we are God’s heirs, the kingdom is already ours.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for making us your children, heirs to your everlasting kingdom. Amen.