And, behold, one came and said to him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?…
Again, a selfish-centred man, clothing himself with all manner of Christian graces and aspirations, is not to be condemned as if these graces and aspirations were of no account. Here is a point where ministers have trouble in preaching to men. When we see men embowered under external moralities, and attempt to teach that morality is not enough, the impression arises that we undervalue morals. I do not undervalue morals any more than the taxcollector undervalues a hundred dollars, when I go to pay my taxes, and offer him that amount, when my bill is five hundred. He says: "I will not take it. It is not enough." He does not despise the hundred dollars. He merely says: "You must put more with it." And I do net despise morality because I say that it does not rise high enough. It is good as far up as it goes. So is a grape-vine good as far up as it goes, when it is two or three feet high: but it does not arrive at what it was planted for until it reaches that point where it has blossoms and clusters. It is the cluster that determines its value.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?