Intro: The word ‘good’ can be used as a noun, adjective, and as an interjection. In my research, I found many synonyms that could be used to replace the word ‘good’ and each one helped to enlarge my understanding: satisfying, virtuous, reliable, fruitful, kind, real, proper, sufficient, well-being, and ideal. All these words describe God’s perfect goodness, as well as our inheritance as we press into a deeper relationship with him. The Father, Son, and Spirit are good; God’s good nature and plan works for our good (Ro 8:28).
In our passage today, Jesus meets a rich religious leader. This man loves God and desires to obey the Word of the Lord; however, Jesus knows this man’s level of trust is hindered because financially he has the capability of taking care of himself; he is self-sufficient. This rich leader is comfortable and secure with his life; perhaps he likes the choices and power his riches give him. Being rich is not the main problem; rather trusting in those riches to secure salvation or bring a godly life is the issue.
This rich leader comes to Jesus with a question. He approaches the Lord as, “Good Teacher” and Jesus asks, “Why do you call me good?…Only God is truly good.” Do you know God is the only One who can satisfy you, make you morally virtuous, be a solid and reliable source of stability for your life, cause you to bear righteous fruit, reveal real kindness and mercy to your soul, give you sufficient grace to weather the emotional storms life serves up, provide you a sense of well-being as his son or daughter, and is the ideal image into which you will one day be transformed?
We must never forget Jesus is God, so he knows the truth about our hearts, motives, and resources, as well as sees the things that have become more important in our lives than him. He loves us enough to address them. Truly, if you and I never face the pressures from some kind of lack in our lives due to self-sufficiency, we will never know how good God really is! We cannot buy or perform our way into eternity. We must put our faith in Messiah and follow his righteous path in the power of his grace. So, keep your eyes on Jesus who is leading you deeper into his goodness, today!
Luke 18:18-23 (NLT) The Rich Man
18 Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good. 20 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’”
21 The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
22 When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23 But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this lesson on humility and the true nature of your goodness. Help us as your children to love you with our whole being; to be completely devoted to you and your work of grace within us. Keep us free from the love of money which is idolatry. In Jesus’ name. Amen.