Why Do You Call Me Good?

“Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, kneeling down before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” But Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except One, God (ὁ θεός)” (Mark 10:17-18; also Matthew 19:16-17; Luke 18:18-19)

Luke 18:18 says that the man was “A certain ruler asked him”.

These passages are used, or rather, misused by some, to try to prove, that here Jesus Himself says that He is not “God”, but only the Father is.

It is a complete misunderstanding, of what Jesus is saying here, for anyone to conclude, that He is saying, only the Father is God, and that He is not.

Here we have a “ruler” who comes kneeling before Jesus Christ, and ask Him directly, “Good Teacher”. Jesus says to Him, why are you addressing Me as “Good”, as there is only One Who is really “Good”, Who is the God of the Holy Bible. The emphasis here is on the WHY, and not on Jesus denying that He is GOD. As there is only One Who is Good, and this is GOD, WHY are you addressing ME as GOOD? It is actually confirmation from Jesus Himself, that He is GOD.

A simple question for those who use this to try to show that Jesus says that He is not God. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is not GOOD? The Greek for “good” here, is “ἀγᾰθός”, which is used for “morally good”, and “upright and honourable”, it is also used for someone who is “perfect”. The wicked Roman Emperor, Nero (37-68 AD), was described by some as “ ἀγαθὸς θεός (good god, Moulton and Milligan, VGNT)”, which is a complete contradiction, to who is really was. He lived during the time the Gospels were written.

Even before Jesus Christ was Born, we have:

“Then the angel said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a shining cloud]; and so the holy (pure, sinless) Thing (Offspring) which shall be born of you will be called the Son of God” (Amplified Bible)

Jesus is here described as “ἅγιος”, that is, “in a moral sense, pure, sinless, upright, holy” (Thayer, Greek Lexicon). The Greek adjective is also used to describe “perfect”, without any fault.

In John 8:46, we have the Testimony of Jesus Himself, on His sinlessness:

“Who among you can convict Me of sin? If I tell the truth, why don't you believe Me?”

“Convict”, is from the Greek, “ἐλέγχω”, which means, “to accuse of, expose, to put one to shame, to find fault with”.

Jesus here challenges those who knew Him all His life, and those He walked among daily, if any of them could find any “fault or expose”, Him of any sin, where we have “ἁμαρτίας”, which is in the singular number, “of any single sin”. Earlier in this same chapter, Jesus says to the Jews who brought the woman who committed adultery, and all who were present, “But when they continued asking him, he looked up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her.” (verse 7). Not a single person did so! The Bible is very clear, that, “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and in verse 10 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one”

We have the personal Testimony of Jesus Christ to His Absolute Perfection. We read the same of God in the Old Testament.

“The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He” (Deuteronomy 32:4); “To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (Psalm 92:15); “As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him” (2 Samuel 22:31)

We also have the sure Testimony from the New Testament on the Absolute Perfection, of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26); “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Peter 1:22); “You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5).

It is clear from the Testimony of Jesus Christ Himself, and other Scriptures, that, when Jesus says to the ruler in the Gospels, “No one is good except One, God”, that He includes Himself as God, as He, as God the Father, is Absolute Goodness.