Mark 10: 17-22…..Mere goodness not enough!

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honour your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Comment: This is very thought provoking! What is good enough to satisfy God? The conversation has a number of very interesting facets.

  • The young man is interested in eternal issues.
  • The word ‘good’ is played with – Is Jesus saying ‘By calling Me ‘good teacher’, are you calling Me God, for He alone is good?’
  • Nothing is mentioned of the first few commandments of the ten in Exodus ch 20. They are those which mention a relationship to God.
  • It appears as if his wealth was his main purpose in life. He was told to get rid of his money ‘idol’, and follow Jesus.
  • That was too high a cost to pay, and he went away.
  • Jesus is not recorded as offering him an easier option.

Prayer: Sometimes Your ‘call’ appears tough, O Lord!

One thought on “Mark 10: 17-22…..Mere goodness not enough!

  1. Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage. I often wonder, after reading this passage, if the word ‘good’ has lost its original meaning. We use the word ‘good’ in many ways, but perhaps we should not do this, particularly as Jesus said ‘only God is good.’ Jesus did not give this young man another option. Jesus let him go away sorrowful. I’m afraid it seems that his possessions possessed him. We must be careful about not allowing our possessions to possess us. God bless you.


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