Why Did Jesus Say, “Why Do You Call Me Good?”

The rich young ruler met with Jesus


Matthew 19:16-17

16 Now one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good deed shall I do to have eternal life?”
17 He replied to him, “Why do you call Me good? There is One who is good. But if you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

Why did Jesus seem to say that He is not good that only God is good as to separate Himself from God? We know that Jesus is good as seen in John 10:11 which says, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

What did Jesus really mean with the question at hand? Jesus was trying to get the rich young ruler to realize that He was God in the flesh. Why do I say that you might add? Because the young man recognized part of deity in Christ without being aware of it by seeing Him as good which by the way only belongs to God in the understanding of Jesus’ ministry with all types of miracles, doing things that only God can do. Since God is good and the young man saw that nature in Jesus, He essentially was saying to the young man, “Only God is good, do you believe that I Am God since you see that in Me?”

7 Replies to “Why Did Jesus Say, “Why Do You Call Me Good?””

    1. Same here, that verse was very difficult to understand. Someone preached about it and I went back to do my own study and it agrees with the flow of John’s gospel in the tenth chapter.

      1. Hhm… no harm in asking people; and if the Spirit leads you so, why go against it? I have no definitive answer to your question, brother, but these verses come to mind: Acts 8:30-31. May the Lord’s answer come to you in prayer. The Lord bless you!

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