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“Why do you call Me good? ” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One — God.
Mark 10:18 HCSB
We tend to focus all of our attention and accolades on God’s creations rather than give Him the glory 100 percent of the time. Jesus put people in check about this constantly, and as the man who ran up to him calling him “Good Teacher” found out, Jesus once again put things into perspective that he was not to be regarded as good, but that God, as the Source and Creator is all that is good, and is the only being to be identified in that light.
That is beyond deep.
But let’s gain some perspective. In English, we have a limited view of the word “good,” and in many ways, we minimize the magnitude of what it means. How many of us would say, “It was good, but it wasn’t great,” not even realizing that great is actually less than “good.”
What???? Oh yeah. Let’s get in it.
For English speakers, when referring to the Bible and the cultural and linguistic context, we oftentimes butcher the meanings and intent. It’s not surprising, then, to find that different passages of scripture have different translations for the word “good.” The Hebrew word is “tov,” as in “Mazel tov,” which means good fortune/luck. But we also find that in Hebrew, the word can be transliterated as “tobh,” which has many meanings depending on the context in which it’s said or written. I learned this through reading a 2015 post from the Plymothian blog.
In Genesis 1, we see that the word “good” is used many times. This is not a mistake or just a lazy placeholder. Everything that is written in the Bible is intentional. Always pay close attention to repetition. The repetitive use of the word “good” is placing an emphasis on the works that God was performing and how He viewed His work. There is what one could call a powerful fullness, richness, and awareness of things being as they should, working and functioning as intended, flourishing, and being as envisioned. Complete and whole.
God is behind the design. It is His vision manifested. His goodness, His essence is infused in the work, in the creation. It is good because He is good. It is the rawness and His refinement that make it so. This was the original plan. Through sin, man fell and distorted our sense of self and identity as we became entangled in the design of the flesh and the influences of this world.
Jesus is seen as the savior for mankind, the son of God, the wayshower, but even as God’s perfect creation, Jesus never walked around touting and parading his role. Heck, he wouldn’t even consider answering to being called “Good.” He knew that in the flesh, there was the blotch of sin, and being born in that sin, Jesus wouldn’t dare to claim the fullness and all-ness of what “good” represented then and should represent now.
Look at us today. Some people would go beyond calling themselves good; they would say they’re superior, the best, the greatest. And they would answer to these descriptors. But ironically, none of those words stand tall next to God, saying that it is “good,” that you are “good.”
Wow, let that sink in.
Jesus knew his place and humbly served in his role. He never took his title and position the way many people would today if given the opportunity. Even when he healed people, he told them to tell no one (even though he knew they would be blabbermouths), but he just wanted to help, save, heal, and bless others through God’s power—and he knew he had limited time to do these things. He knew the fanfare could bring unwanted attention at a time when hearts and minds wouldn’t quickly credit God but would default to assuming the work was done by the authority of Satan.
Jesus worked strategically to remain aligned with prophecy and God’s direction.
That is a humble servant. Jesus understood that the source of all is the Father and that he was to show people the way to Him, not try to get attention or accolades. He knew he had to be last to be first—the principle he taught his disciples when they argued over who was the best [read Mark 9:33-35].
Consider the source of all that you have. Look at everything you have achieved in life, inventory all of your possessions, and then honestly answer this question—who really gets the credit for all that you have and all that you are? And is that which you are pursuing “good”?
All that I need comes from You. You are all that I need Lord. No human, animal, spirit, thing, or object can be a true substitute for You. No matter how much time and energy I give to someone or something else, I am never whole and complete, or truly satisfied. I am who I am through You. It is only in and with You that these realities are possible. I am what You say I am. I will do what You call me to do. Keep my eyes on You Father. In Jesus’ Name I humbly pray. Amen.
And with that family, I pray that you are blessed, that you see and embrace your blessings, and that you are a blessing to others.
Copyright 2013-2023. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com
Music: Climb by Shane Ivers; Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com