The next question comes from
Luke. 18:19 “And Jesus said to him, ‘why do you call me good?’ ”
If you don’t mind I’ll take a moment to give an introduction. This text is very beautiful, because in it Jesus addresses how our views can be so different.
Just a quick example, if you put 5 people in one room, and allow them to experience one event, you will be astounded at the difference you will see in every response and reaction to what happened in that one experience or event. . This Sunday at a church I love to watch online the service began with a comedian and everyone had different opinions about what was going on. . Some thought the pastor was out of his mind while others applauded the ability to laugh as a means of loosening up before service.. whatever you do you’ll have some who will love your idea and some will scorn.
In the context Jesus has been encountered by a young ruler who happened to be rich.
imagine with me, this guy is at the height of his success, he is making it big, in a position of power.. did I mention he was also rich. . Well that came with him making it big and his position. .
This guy comes to Jesus and questions him. . What boldness? What audacity? Can you imagine a ruler walking up to a ruler both knowing each others authority… there is a certain level of respect between them both. But he has a question and its been bugging him awhile, he needs to know. Whether just for a pat on the back or because he was willing to adapt to get his request we will see…
He calls Jesus a very particular name. ..”Good” teacher. . Now he could have just called him teacher why all the need for distinguishing him. .. setting him apart as better than. . His view of good was obviously off since it was challenged by Jesus himself who answers his question with a question. . Now why did Jesus feel the need to be rhetorical?? Jesus begins to explain only one is good and he is God. .so you can lose the over the top self image! Obviously this guy was thinking he was good and he had it all together, although the text doesn’t say this later it implies it.
Jesus addresses the biggest issue first. Then Jesus begins to tell him the latter portion of the ten commandments and those the man had kept, but the one he had not was not mentioned, so in his own standard he thought he was doing good. .. but Jesus shatters his hopes… the bible says in the gospel of Mark Jesus looked at him, and Jesus loved him. . Then he made a heartbreaking comment. .. ruler, you’ve done good, but you still lack one thing. . Here’s what it is. .. love for God! Give up the idol god to get the real one. . And when you sell all you have, give it to the poor, once you’ve done that you’ll have treasures in heaven then… come, and follow me. .
So then there were several more steps he had to take to enter the kingdom, but none of them had to do with works at all though it looked like it. . He thought because he did things he would be good with God when the whole while it was a question of his love and devotion… not to things, but to God.
This question was beautiful because it was Jesus in essence asking. .. how deep is your love? What would you give up for me. . If I told you you would have treasures in heaven, would you be willing to become dirty poor in earth to be filthy rich in heaven?