Lent – Day 39 – Jesus Questions

“Why ask me about what is good? Only God is good.” (Matthew 19:17)

Today we commemorate Good Friday.

Ultimately, of course, it’s a matter of perspective. What was “good” about the crucifixion? What was “good” about the hypocrisy of the trial and the barbarity of the cross, both of which Jesus endured in silence that awful day? What was “good” about the humiliation of being stripped naked, whipped, and spat upon in a public place?

Good FridayWe use the word “good” in some strange contexts. “That was a good show! I’m feeling good! Good on you!” But perhaps the phrase “Good Friday” beats them all.

In Matthew 19, a young religious leader comes to Jesus and asks “What good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” I suspect the question was a red herring. I imagine he hoped Jesus would just say, “Nothing more than what you’ve already done! You’re amazing!” But Jesus didn’t go there.

Instead, Jesus changed the focus. He switched the conversation from good works, to the Good One (God Himself). He challenged the youthful zealot to save that word — the word “good” — for God alone. After all, as the Apostle Paul would later write, “There is none (among us) that is good; not one” (Romans 3:12).

“Why ask me about what is good? Only God is good.”

This Jesus Question seems unexpectedly relevant today. Good Friday is not so much about good things or good people, but is that day when the Good One touched time and eternity with the most profound demonstration of love the world has ever seen. We don’t celebrate good happenings or good events. But we do pause and recognize that in the midst of the cruelty and horror of that day — that day when the heavens themselves went dark — the Good One, the only Good One, was active and present.

“Why ask me about what is good? Only God is good.”

Yes, only God is good. And He’s consistently good; constantly good. He works tirelessly to redeem humanity. He reaches out relentlessly to us. He wants our best. He is the harbinger of hope and the Father of forgiveness. He empowers the weak and blesses the undeserving. He acts with patience and touches us with grace.

Yes, only God is good. And He’s wholly good; perfectly good. He brings light to the darkness. His righteousness knows no end. His holiness has no imperfection. His promises are sure. His Word holds true. He has unfaltering integrity. He dwells in glory.

Yes, only God is good. And Good Friday declares that despite our depravity, hostility, and rebellion, the Good One still owns the day! We are not alone; all is not lost.

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4 Responses to Lent – Day 39 – Jesus Questions

  1. E Tse says:

    Amen and amen! Hi, David- The meditative music of this podcast http://pray-as-you-go.org/prayer/?uid=5652 also casts joyful light of what Jesus won for us on the mourning the suffering and sacrifice that sin requires. Glory to Him in choosing this question for your writing today! Well, take a listen and enjoy…. William and I are doing well. He is also lamenting 😉 that his spring break is drawing to a close. It is hard to believe that he has doubled in age since you baptized him and that I will have a 20 year old at the end of the month! Blessings of sensing His nearness and intimacy with Him today!–Eleanor 🙂

    Yes, William and I are doing well.

  2. Murphy says:

    This is SO relevant in my life today! I’ve been in pain since March 25th with sciatica. Then two days ago have felt numbness in my lips, fingers and today my feet as well. I’ve been through physical trials in the past, and God has always met me in them. This time, I’ve had excruciating pa in at times and I hadn’t been able to feel Him, I couldn’t even ‘hear’ Him in His Word which I relish every day! I’ve been crying out to Him in physical,emotional and mental anguish without hearing from Him. Today was different, as I was lying on my bed literally crying my heart out to Him, as I felt the numbness in my hands and feet, I thought of the excruciating pain He felt in His hands and feet and the pain in my back pales in comparison to the flogging He received just short of death. Today of all Good Fridays really put what He did for me/us in perspective, and I’ve never felt more gratude for His sacrifice for my salvation than today. If this alone is why I’m suffering, I’m thankful for it as I NEVER want to forget His sacrifice for me! This really is a “Good” Friday! Thank you for your article.

    • David Timms says:

      Thanks for that very moving and meaningful testimony! It reminds me of Paul writing in Philippians 3:10 (one of the great passages in the New Testament): “I count all things to be loss…that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” May you experience His grace, peace, and healing in this season.

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