And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”
Raymond Kwan: Japan Bible Academy | Japan
These famous words come from Mark’s account of Jesus’ conversation with the man known as the rich young ruler. It’s amazing how skillfully Jesus, whom the man greets as “Good Teacher” (Mark 10:17), deals with his main problem. Before responding to his question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17), Jesus addresses the man’s understanding of goodness. Next, Jesus gives the man an opportunity to acknowledge his sin by asking him if he has kept several of the Ten Commandments. Everything God does is good. God has never done, and cannot do, anything that is not good. Foolishly, the man says that he has kept them all. This reveals how he views himself and what his standards are. Jesus gives this man one last chance by asking him to do something that He knew he was unwilling to do, namely, sell his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. With this question the man’s true condition is revealed; his loyalty is to self, not God. Tragically, the conversation ends here; it should have been where he saw the answer to his original question. God’s standard is absolute perfection. Everything God does is good. God has never done, and cannot do, anything that is not good. In fact, as someone has said, God doesn’t do things because they’re good; things are good because He does them. He is the very definition of good. There isn’t a higher standard of good that God abides by. He sets the standard. When we consider who we are before God, we ought to be humbled that He would offer salvation to people who fall so short of His goodness. Praise Him for His goodness.