Behold, one came to him and said, ‘Good teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God.'”Matthew 19:16-17a, WEB
At first glance, in the verses above it may seem like Jesus is telling the man that He is not God, and therefore, doesn’t deserve to be called good, but in fact the Bible reveals that Jesus is God, so it was appropriate for the man to address Him as “good.” So what did Jesus’ response mean? Perhaps Jesus’ question, at least in part, was meant to cause the man to pause and put some serious thought into the true definition of “good.” There are many things in the world that we define as good, but I believe Jesus was saying that there is a good that is even higher than what we define as good, and that it is truly good; it is the definition of good, and that is God. He is the true definition of good.
“The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.”
(Psalm 145:9, ESV)
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!”
(Psalm 34:8, ESV)
For Further Study:
Some synonyms for the word “good” include: fine, quality, righteous, ethical, and upright. Look up definitions for each of these synonyms and think about God in relation to each of the definitions. Say out loud, “God is . . . ” and then fill in the blank with each definition.
Prayer for the Believer:
Lord, there was a time when I did not know who You were. Thank You for revealing the truth to me. Forgive me for the times that I have not acknowledged Your divinity and Your goodness. Please help me to see Your goodness in the land of the living today.
Prayer for the Seeker:
Jesus, I don’t know You. I’ve heard about You and I’m not sure what I believe. If You’re real, please reveal Yourself to me. Help me know what to pray. Show me who to talk to that can tell me the truth about You. Help me to find a Bible that I understand, and I pray that Your Spirit will open my eyes to the truth that it contains.