Good Master

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Patriot, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Patriot

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    In the Bible, a person calls Jesus "Good Master", but Jesus tells him that no one is good, but God. This was used by a Jehovah Witness to try to deny the deity of Jesus to me, and I wasn't able to answer this question. Of course, I would never fall into their false doctrines, I know a lot about their false teachings. But, I didn't have the answer at the moment. Can someone give me an explanation of this verse?
     
  2. DHK

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    None of us are good. Romans 3:10-12

    10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Christ was asserting His own deity; in effect He was saying:
    If I am good, then I am God; if I am not God then I am not good.
    DHK
     
  3. Tim

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    I agree, Jesus was affirming His diety. In addition He was pointing out to the young ruler that he was actually NOT good. The young man thought his commandment keeping made him righteous. So Jesus gave him a commandment he was unwilling to keep. He went away sorrowful--perhaps recognizing his deficiencies.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  4. Patriot

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    How could he affirm his deity if he accepted he was not good, but only God. If he had said, "I am good", then he would have accepted he was God. Why didn't he do that to confirm his deity.
     
  5. DHK

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    The rich young ruler addressed him, "Good Master.."
    This was a common mode of address, just as we commonly comment about others, "He's a good guy." Jesus was rebuking the young ruler to be careful with his words, and how he addresses people. He was accepting the title of "good," because He was good. But at the same time, He was pointing out that only God is good. Jesus did not refuse to be called good. He accepted the title or courtesy; but at the same time told the young man to only address God that way. He claimed divinity, for He claimed that He was good. He didn't say he wasn't.
    DHK
     
  6. swaimj

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    This is an example of proof-texting on the part of the JW and his method demonstrates that he does not understand the meaning of the passage. He is applying a meaning to the one statement which clearly contradicts the meaning of the story as a whole. The passage clearly demonstrates the perfect moral goodness of Jesus; goodness which makes him equal to God.

    Consider the story: The man asks a question: "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus tells him that no one is good but God. Then Jesus defines what goodness is as the man would understand it. He quotes 5 of the 10 commandments. The man says he has kept these, therefore the man believes that he is good. However, Jesus kept all of these commands as well as I think your JW friend would agree. Therefore, at this point of the story, Jesus and the man are equal in goodness.

    Then Jesus gives another set of commands "Sell all you have, distribute to the poor and follow Jesus". These reveal that the man was not "good" because he went away and could not/would not follow the command. The question is, based upon this second set of commands, is Jesus good? Did Jesus give up all that he had? Scripture (even the JW's false version) says that he did when he left heaven and became a man (cf. Phil 2). Did Jesus distribute to the poor? Yes, he did. By His death he provided salvation for mankind. What about the third part: follow Jesus? Was this a requirement Jesus had to follow? If so, he was capable of saving himself which sets him apart from every other man and is indicative of his deity.

    The story demonstrates clearly that Jesus is not only good (he met all the moral demands in this passage), but he is so good that he does not need to follow another to go to heaven. His moral goodness and the fact that his perfection in goodness qualifies him to save others makes him morally equal to God. If this is not true, the JW has the burden of demonstrating that Jesus did not live up to the standard he set forth in these verses, or he has to believe that Jesus did not understand the way of salvation himself. If the latter is true, then Jesus' statement that only God is good is suspect because Jesus may have known as little about God's character as he knew about how to gain eternal life. That would destroy the JW's argument altogether.
     
  7. Watchman

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    The Lord Jesus was a master at turning his opponents words around on them. At the risk of sounding like Spock on Star Trek, logic is called for here. You have people here that adamantly refused to recognize His divinity. Now these same people come to him, calling Him good. Well, there is none good but God. Their refusal to recognize His divinity, yet them calling Him good and that is an attribute that only God has, was nonsense.
    It was nonsense for these Jews then, it is nonsense for the J.W.'s and other cults now.
     
  8. Patriot

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    I get it now. He never refused to be called good. Thanks for the information guys.
     
  9. RaptureReady

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    Amen DHK. What I find funny is that in the KJB, Matthew, Mark, and Luke record this occurence the same, i.e. And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? I wonder why the modern versions don't agree? I'll tell you why, because if the devil can take away Christ deity in His word just a little, it will affect many.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Because the "me" (in why callest thou ME good) is not in the Greek Text. Not in ANY Greek text - TR or MV. :cool:

    Modern versions are more honest. You may step off the :eek: soap box!
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Sorry HomeBound - just reread my post and it more than a little harsh. NOT the way I want to be even when dealing with "onlyism".

    Will try to discuss, share and teach - not abuse! :rolleyes:
     
  12. PastorGreg

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    Dr. Bob, I'm not the Greek scholar you are, but I have 2 TR's on my shelf and they both contain the pronoun "me."
     
  13. Patriot

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    Pastor Greg, so how do you explain this verse?
     
  14. Paul of Eugene

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    Here's the passage from Matthew AND Mark as translated by the New American Standard Version Revised:

    Matt 19:16-17
    And someone came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?"

    17 And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."
    NASU


    Mark 10:17-18
    17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

    18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.
    NASU

    Note the subtle difference between the gosples referring to the rhetorical question -
     
  15. Paul of Eugene

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    Well I checked up on the differences between the gospels I found in the NASU version and lo, the difference is there in the greek. I assume that Jesus originally spoke in the native tongue of the children of Israel (aramaic?) and the greek we have in Mark and Matthew are translations of His original words, and we all know that sometimes alternative wordings can be fair translations.
     
  16. HankD

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    Did anyone understand Watchman's answer?

    When the JW's ask you this question then turn it around and ask them "is Jesus good"?

    If they say yes then ask "who then does that make Him if only God is good?"

    If they say no then ask "why are you following Him?"

    Pesonally, I see this question (why do you call me good?) as being the same kind of inquiry as "who do men say that I am?" or "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?"

    He was "fishing" for an answer (more for them than for Himself).

    HankD
     
  17. Paul of Eugene

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    Right on, HankD! [​IMG]
     

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