As Jesus was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”
Mark 10:17–18, ESV
Jesus’ beginning response to the rich, young man may sound odd, but Jesus did not deny His place in the Godhead. Jesus was calling out the problem in the young man’s question. We, too often, throw around the word “good.” We like to think of ourselves as good, or when a friend or loved one is suffering or dies, we like to think of them as “good” people. In the man’s question lie the issue. The man was not questioning his salvation but the divinity of Jesus. The man questioning did not indicate He believed that Jesus was Lord, but that he felt that he was good for all the works that he had done. Jesus goes to the root of the issue when He tells the man to sell all that he has and give the money to the poor. It wasn’t the things that were the issue or the money. The issue was that the man’s whole hope was centered on the security he found in his wealth. How many of us would like to give up everything in order to serve God? It’s a tough call. The issue, though, has nothing to do with money or goods but how much hope we place in them. Our hope is meant to be in the Lord and in Him only. To know Jesus as good comes only in the admission of the speaker to know that Jesus is truly good. To proclaim a person “good” is a proclamation of his or her godliness. We do not have power over this, but we give it to Christ and Christ alone in the knowledge that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.