What is Good?

Mark 10:17-18(NIV)

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

The rich young man had certain expectations when he approached Jesus.  He was probably expecting Jesus to say that he was doing a great job keeping the law; well done, keep up the good work.  Instead, Jesus said that he was lacking one thing and he went away sad because of his wealth.  Unrealistic expectations can steal our joy and our peace.  He had high hopes that he will inherit eternal life.  He was keeping the law beautifully and better than his friends and neighbours.

Jesus was making his point that only God is good.  On earth, no one is good, according to the Bible’s guidelines of what good is.  God is perfect and we are not.  When we set up expectations that God is protecting us from bad things happening and trials in our lives, we can go away sad like this rich young man.  We can become bitter, upset or angry instead of being at peace no matter what comes our way.  Satan wants us to be discouraged.  Jesus wants us to understand that life will happen and we need to trust and stay faithful, knowing that this world is not perfect.

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