The lawyer, well-versed in the Law of Moses (yet missing the grace of God) had pressured Jesus to declare to him the greatest commandments.
25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live" (Luke 10: 25-28)
Right away, we should see the "Trap" set for all legalists. How can anyone of us do anything if we have no life to begin with?
Yet the lawyer was not moved to doing something. He tried to look righteous, to "justify himself" and find some way to argue: "I have loved my neighbor."
Jesus the shares the Parable of the Gracious Samaritan, a picture of Himself.
At the end of the parable, Jesus asks the lawyer "Who was the neighbor in that story"? The lawyer would not say "The Samaritan", but rather:
"And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise." (Luke 10: 37)
Once again, just as none of us can keep the law, and thus none of us can love the Lord God with everything we have, so too we cannot love our neighbor as ourselves.
Looking again at the Parable, we have to see ourselves as the stripped and beaten traveler on the way to Jericho. We were beaten and robbed, left with nothing.
Jesus comes along, and gives us His coat, His wealth, all His resources to care for us.
First and foremost, He grants us His righteousness by grace, which we receive by faith:
"Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13: 38-39)
This justification is a gift of God (Ephesians 2: 8-9), which w receive by faith (Ephesians 2: 6):
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17)
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64: 6)
Because of Jesus, we are not trying to earn righteousness through our efforts, but receive it by faith in Christ Jesus:
"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:" (Philippians 3: 8-9)
Beloved in Christ Jesus, stop justifying yourself (you cannot), but rather let Jesus justify you today!