THE GOOD MASTER
"And, behold, one came and said unto him, 'Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?' " (Matthew 19:16).
This title, "Good Master," was evidently coined by the Young Ruler since it does not appear that the rabbis of Christ's day were ever addressed by such a title. Given the Young Ruler's status and the seriousness of his question, it seems certain that he had a sincere reason for ascribing this compliment to Jesus. Whatever his reason, he expressed a profound truth.
Christ's response to this unusual title should not be taken as a disavowal of His deity. Jesus life, character, teachings, and ministry, all clearly attest that He was indeed the Good Master. As the second person of the Godhead, Jesus is inherently good. As a teacher of righteousness, He was preeminently good. The biblical record is that Jesus "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38). Our Lord Himself declared, "I am the good shepherd" (John 10:14). Jesus' apparent rejection of the accolade, "Good Master," was simply to help this young man to discover that the Good Master was also the Son of God.
Those who are the products of Christ's redeeming grace, recognize Him as Saviour and Lord as well as the Good Master. Whatever He does is always good simply because He is good. The good news is that by His grace, we too can be made good.
The Young Ruler's perception of Jesus was commendable and correct, but inadequate. He needed to see Christ as the unique Son of God and the Saviour of the world. Ellen G. White observed that "this young man's tastes and desires were not offensive, but favorable to the growth of spirituality. As he saw Jesus blessing the little children, he was convinced that this must be a good man."--Review and Herald, September 11, 1900.
My Prayer Today: Lord, as the Good Master, teach me Your will and make me good. Amen.