|Matthew Henry'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.
Verse 19. - And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. The title "good" was a singular one for the young ruler to have used. It was never used to the most famous rabbis by their pupils. It implied an intense reverence, but nothing more. The young man distinctly did not then believe the Master was Divine, else he had never made the great refusal recorded directly afterwards. "To be a good man is impossible... God alone could have this honour" (Plate, 'Phaed.,' 27). "You are looking at me," said the Master, "as a man: why give me this strange, lofty title? You are looking on me only as an earthly Teacher." The great Heart-reader was reading the young man's thoughts, thoughts which soon crystallized, as we shall see, into the refused to do what he, whom he chose to style "good," directed him to carry out.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jesus said unto him,.... In answer to his question, beginning with the character he gave him:
why callest thou me good? it being unusual to address men, even their Rabbins, under such a title:
none is good, save one, that is, God: or "but God alone"; as the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions render it; or, "but the one God", as read the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions; See Gill on Matthew 19:17.
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).
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