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Finale – God Alone is Good

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When Jesus was called a good Teacher, He refuted it by saying, “Why do you call Me good?  No one is good – except God alone.” [Mark 10.18; Luke 18.19]  This statement of Jesus is one of His more obscure statements, for He Himself, by our standards, is indeed good.  That is why the man said to Him, “Good Teacher…” [Mark 10.17; Luke 18.18]

So, is Jesus denying that He is good, displaying some sort of humility, in which case, by our standard of good, He is lying and displaying false humility, or was He referring us to something else?  The answer is simple if you learn to recognise that the sequence of events in the Bible is as important as the event itself.

In this case, if you can see that the first Person who used the word ‘good’ is God Himself at the end of each of the days of creation in Genesis chapter one.  God saw what He had made and it was good.  So think, what is good?  That which God has made.  However, what God was looking at was creation in its pristine state before sin tainted it.  Even though the trees, the birds and the animals that we look at now are all made by God, what we are seeing is not creation in the state that God first saw it.  The lion God made before sin tainted it was good.  Now it is not good… not by God’s standard.  And this is the most important thing we have to learn about good.  Everything God made, He saw it was good when they were all in the pre-sin state.  So, whatever we are looking at now, although they are still the work of God, they are no longer good… not by God’s standard.

There has only ever been two humans who saw the good that God saw in creation – Adam and Eve.  For as soon as Adam sinned, the good that was there was gone, contaminated by sin.  And through the knowledge of good AND evil that Adam and Eve had now acquired, the good that God saw was also being ruined by evil as it flowed out of the descendants of Adam and Eve.  The good that Abel, Cain and Seth saw was not the good that God saw.  And through Cain, evil began to deteriorate the original good.

Before Jesus came, no man had lived who ever saw the good Adam and Eve saw.  Jesus became the first Man since Adam who has seen the good that God saw as Adam did, and no one since Jesus has ever seen that good either.  That is why Jesus is referred to as the last Adam, the last Man to has seen the good of God, whereas Adam was the first man who saw the good of God.

God has sent Jesus to save the world, and He has saved the world, but Jesus showed us that He had not saved this world for it to remain as it is.  The world we see now is not the world God created, but the world that sin and Noah created by his faith.  For the faith of Noah destroyed the world of Cain and Seth through the flood that was unleashed.  If either Cain or Seth were to return today, they would not recognise this world.  Few realise that when the doors of the ark shut on Noah, he left behind a world no one has ever seen, and when the gates were opened again, Noah and his family beheld a world as different as any imaginary space traveller could encounter.  In truth, the ark of Noah carried him from one world to another without leaving the planet.

However, when Jesus turned water to wine, it is written that He turned the water to good wine.  Now, wipe away the childish excuse some theologians make about the wine being non-alcoholic, and take the word as it is written.  Jesus turned the water to good wine… but by what standard of good did He do it?  Since no one is good except God alone according to Jesus, then the standard of the wine is the standard that was before there was sin.

What is good wine then?  It is the wine that God made before Adam sinned.  It is the wine made from the grapes that grew or would have grown from the original vine.

So then, does God condone the drinking of alcohol and drunkenness?  Not at all, for it is written in Psalm 104.14-15:  He makes… wine that gladdens the heart of man…  The wine made by God gladdens without ever making one drunk.  The wine made by man, and Noah was the first to do so, causes drunkenness, and in that drunkenness, Noah cursed Canaan.

The wine that is made from the grapes we have now – the ‘post-delugian vintages’ of the world – causes drunkenness and sickness when drunk in excess, but the good wine of God brings only joy without any curses, drunkenness or sickness.

John testified that Jesus displayed His glory at Cana when the water was turned to good wine.  So then, there is the clue as to what the glory of God really is.  Aside from being His nature changing power, it is His goodness.  The glory of God is His goodness, and that goodness is the power that changes even natures.

So, with His first sign, Jesus declared to all the Heavenlies, especially to the angelics, both the holy and the fallen, that He was not only going to save the world, but He is restoring the world to the good that it was when God first made it.  And it is no coincidence that it was in a town called Cana in Canaan that water was turned to good wine, when it was bad wine that grew from the waters of the flood that caused Canaan to be cursed.

That is also why Jesus commanded us not to judge, less we be judged.  For we have no idea what good really is… only God does, and He has purposed to show us His standard of good through Jesus.  And until we stop and watch Jesus, listen to Him and ponder why He does what He does, we will never really know what is truly good.  For Jesus alone can show us what good is from God’s perspective.  The most anyone else can do is show us what good is from Adam’s perspective whose knowledge of good is shared with the knowledge of evil.  God alone know the good that has no evil.  Man knows the good that shares the same fruit with evil.

So until you have listened to Jesus, you have heard nothing good.  Until you can see Jesus, you have not seen good.  Until you can do what Jesus does, you have not begun to do good.  For God alone knows what and who is good, and that is, God.

The reason Jesus is returning is to restore the good to this world as God first saw it, and that will happen through the millennium of His reign.  He restored the wine first because He knows that there will be much to celebrate.  So, come and taste the word of God and see that it is good.

Hr. Ed Kwan

Copyright Information:  NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION [NIV]  All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®,
NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved worldwide.  www.zondervan.com

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