12/19 Matthew 19:17

17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."

In the account both in Mark and Luke, a rich young man addressed Jesus as "good teacher." There are those who compare the gospels to find discrepancies and then try to decide which account they will consider authentic. Since I am convinced that each is inspired, I look for how they must complement the other. The man must have called Jesus, "good teacher" and also asked about what "good deed" he could do to earn salvation.

Then the critics would say that Jesus was declaring that He was not God by saying "there is only one who is good." That clearly contradicts many of the passages quoted by Matthew equating Jesus with the LORD in the Old Testament. (see Divine Messiah?) Is there another possibility? Could Jesus have been asking the man if he understood that Jesus was God in the flesh who had come to provide the salvation he was seeking? That possibility is more in line with the context of the gospel of Matthew.

Jesus asked if he had kept the commandments, and mentioned a few but not the tenth which was one the man was having trouble keeping. When the man said he had kept them, instead of quoting the tenth, "You shall not covet," Jesus went to its application. "Go and sell all your goods, give to the poor and follow me." Break the hold that coveting wealth has on your life and follow the One who is salvation. The man went away sorrowful because he was not willing to do that.

Consider: This account is not telling us we must take a vow of poverty, but rather that anything that keeps us from following Jesus must be forsaken. It may be the respect of men, or security in a job, or the comforts of location, or any number of things. We can't serve two masters.