Mark 10:17-18 — 17 As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up to Him and fell on his knees before Him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone” (NIV).
Here we have a desperate, rich man genuinely seeking salvation. He appeared to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude, but today I want to take a careful look at the opening exchange between him and Jesus. There is a very valuable lesson to be learned here.
As the rich young ruler knelt in the dirt at Jesus’ feet, he looked longingly into the eyes of the Son of God and called Him Good Teacher. Then he asked how to inherit eternal life. Before the words “big deal” run through your mind, notice Jesus’ response. He answered the man’s question by asking one of His own: “Why do you call Me good? No one is good—except God alone.”
What did Jesus mean by this? He could have only meant one of two things. He was either saying, “I am not good,” or, “I am God.” You likely know Jesus is God the Son, but the young ruler had no idea. Jesus was trying to reveal Himself to him.
This distinguished gentleman had likely heard many testimonies of the miracles Jesus had performed. Jesus’ teaching was widely popular and full of wisdom, and news traveled fast. The rich young ruler was fascinated by the things Jesus did and taught, and he wanted a piece of the action. He knew all about Jesus, but he did not know Jesus. And he had no interest in getting to know Him; he just wanted something.
Are you like the rich young ruler today? Are you in awe of what God does, or are you in awe of who He is? So many people try to use God, but God wants to reveal Himself to you.
John 14:7 — “If you had really known Me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!” (NLT)
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