Why Do You Call Me Good: What Does Luke 18:19 Mean?


Luke 18:19, “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” (New International Version)

ESVAnd Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”
KJVAnd Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.”
NASBAnd Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”
NLT“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good.”

Also see the meaning of Commit Your Way to the Lord

Why Do You Call Me Good: Matthew Henrey’s Concise Commentary

18:18-30 Many have a great deal in them very commendable, yet perish for lack of some one thing; so this ruler could not bear Christ’s terms, which would part between him and his estate.

Many who are loth to leave Christ, yet do leave him. After a long struggle between their convictions and their corruptions, their corruptions carry the day. They are very sorry that they cannot serve both; but if one must be quitted, it shall be their God, not their wordly gain.

Their boasted obedience will be found mere outside show; the love of the world in some form or other lies at the root. Men are apt to speak too much of what they have left and lost, of what they have done and suffered for Christ, as Peter did. But we should rather be ashamed that there has been any regret or difficulty in doing it.

Also see the meaning of Having Done All To Stand

Luke 18:19 | Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

19. Why, &c.—Did our Lord mean then to teach that God only ought to be called “good?” Impossible, for that had been to contradict all Scripture teaching, and His own, too (Ps 112:5; Mt 25:21; Tit 1:8).

Unless therefore we are to ascribe captiousness to our Lord, He could have had but one object—to raise the youth’s ideas of Himself, as not to be classed merely with other “good masters,” and declining to receive this title apart from the “One” who is essentially and only “good.”

This indeed is but distantly hinted; but unless this is seen in the background of our Lord’s words, nothing worthy of Him can be made out of them. (Hence, Socinianism, instead of having any support here, is only baffled by it).

Also see the meaning of Blessed Is the Nation Whose God is the Lord

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