Good Teacher


In the Gospel According to Mark, in Chapter 10, the Rich Man called Christ “Good teacher”.

Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.”

A footnote mentioned:
Jesus repudiates the term “good” for himself and directs it to God, the source of all goodness and who alone can grant the gift of eternal life.

 Please explain.


Or the implication could be drawn that Jesus being Emmanuel has just been confessed by the rich man as being God manifest in the flesh.

Jesus is not repudiating the term, he does not say “Do not call me good”, he says “why …?” ie do you understand what you are saying fully.


I don’t view Jesus as repudiating the term. Instead, I view Jesus as seeking validation of the believer and helping him grow his spirituality and theology.

Once one knows only God is good, then one should ensure everything s/he calls good is God.

I also find the reasoning to be similar as to why Jesus asks "who do you say I am,"rather than saying, “I am God.” It is granting necessary freedom to the believer, while growing the believer to greater spirituality.

Thanks for sharing the intriguing question!


D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 18. None is good. Of himself, entirely and essentially, but God alone: men may be good also, but only by a participation of God’s goodness. (Challoner)


Turn the question around: Why would the rich man address Jesus with a term which was reserved for God alone?

Consider also Luke 8:38-39

The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but he sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.


Jesus didn’t come to be exalted. He came to humble Himself as a servant to man and mankind. So He really wasn’t looking for anybody to praise and exalt Him on earth. He would become glorified in heaven, when He returns to His Father. He reminds the man in this way, that we are to seek God, the source of all good.

Or it sounds good to me anyway. :smiley:


Jochoa, Thank you for declaring that this was an intriguing question!


In The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, one of the sections of Chapter 5 is entitled Teaching about the Law.
Christ declared, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.”

Jesus taught about prayer.
A scribe said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”


Jesus is perpetually pointing out to people that they’ve just said something prophetic about Him. :slight_smile:


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