Summary: When we use the phrase "God is good" are we misinterpreting the Word
The Goodness of God
Subtitle: Are we misinterpreting the word?
Scripture Reference: Mark 10:17-22 / Mark10:18 (KJV)
Mark 10: 17-22 17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God. 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
Let’s take a contrasting look at the word good. First let’s look at what it is not then we will look at what it is.
- The opposite of bad or evil.
Jesus did not allow himself to be called good in this passage. Certainly if Jesus did not feel as if he should be called good he was not saying call him bad or evil.
- A word to describe an ordinary man doing ordinary actions. Jesus did not accept it to describe himself. If Jesus felt that his work in earth is not enough to describe as good then certainly this word must have some supernatural value.
- A word to describe your favorite thing such as food, car, etc. The same word that describes a piece of chocolate cake can’t describe God. I have often said that a piece of chocolate cake is good. If Jesus did not feel that he warranted being called good then certainly this word could never describe a piece of cake. Or anything else on earth that we call good for that matter
- A level of achievement
In today’s society Good is not even a high mark. If I were to say to one of my comrades that he did a good job and another an excellent job the one who I told that they did a good job to would probably wonder what he was doing wrong. However I can assure that the person that did the excellent job had not and will not ever do anything that can compare to the perfect work of God.
- A powerful and life changing word
Try saying Good morning to someone everyday for thirty days (Someone will get offended). It is truly funny how we try to exclude the word good from our daily greeting to each other. To say, “Morning.” is fully acceptable and fits into the daily scheme of words. However if we add the simple word good into this scheme people tend to get offended. Why is it? Does this word contain any power?
- A word in which God dwells
When we speak it on even the worse situations they must change. (Today is a cold and windy day. This will be a good day to wear my favorite cashmere trench coat.)
I realize that there are times when God speaks a word that is not what we want to hear or pleasing to our situation but God’s goodness does not have to make you feel happy. It is sharper than any two-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.)
The young rich ruler was a powerful and influential man. He knew how to use the right words at the right time to get people to do what he wanted them to do whether they agreed with what he asked or not.
These are some of his traits that allowed him to become a young rich ruler in the first place. In this passage he confronts Jesus Christ with the obvious intent of using persuasive words to get Jesus to do what he wanted whether Jesus agreed with what he was asking for or not. The man decided to combine his position of authority along with flattery in an attempt to persuade Christ. He was sure that if there were any good man on earth then certainly Christ would be the epitome of him. He must have been quit shocked to find that Christ denied him of the profession that he was good.
I love the Lord and I believe that Jesus is who he says he is and can do what he says that he can do but when I heard this passage I was completely taken for a loss as to how could a man of his statue deny the right for someone to use the word good to describe him.
Of course after continued reading I realized that he wasn’t denying himself the right to be called good (because he and the Father are one) but he was setting the records completely straight about the fact that he and his father are completely separate yet they are the same.