“And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16)
While no better question could be asked, his grammar reveals a common misconception—that salvation and eternal life is something of his doing. The verb “obtain” reflects the attitude that salvation is just something else to be acquired and added to the pile of “things” we accumulate in life. That his confidence is in his own capacity, and that he views himself as the subject of salvation, is evident in the twice used personal pronoun “I.” His misguided thinking is everyone has a price…maybe even God. The Good News is that the price has been paid.