Why use the word good? (Lk 18:19-18:19)

“Jesus said to him.

‘Why do you call me

Good?

No one is good

But God alone.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν; οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ Θεός.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to him (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  Why did he call Jesus good (Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν), since no one was good except God alone (οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ Θεός)?  This response of Jesus can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:18-19, and Matthew, chapter 19:17, but slightly different, since Luke and Mark are closer to each other, almost word for word.  They both had this man call Jesus the good teacher.  Mark said that Jesus responded to him (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) by asking a question.  Why did he call Jesus good (Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν)?  No one person was good (οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς).  God alone was good (εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ Θεός).  In this response, Jesus appears to distance himself from the good God.  Matthew did not mention that there was only one good one, God, as in Luke and in Mark, since this man was only looking for a good deed.  Jesus responded (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) to this question by asking a question.  Why did he ask about good (Τί με ἐρωτᾷς περὶ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ), since there was only one good one (εἷς ἐστιν ὁ ἀγαθός)?  Then Jesus gave the classic answer for those who wanted to enter eternal life (εἰ δὲ θέλεις εἰς τὴν ζωὴν εἰσελθεῖν).  He should keep the commandments or laws (τήρει τὰς ἐντολάς), since there had been a question about what good deed he could do.  Jesus’ response was the commandments.  Do you follow the commandments of God?

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