What did Jesus mean when He said there is no one that's good except for God?

Does this mean good people don't exist and people are wrong when they talk about "good people?"

39 Answers

  • Paul
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    It means that only God is goodness itself, and is incapable of sin, since the definition of sin is "anything opposed to the will of God". We are capable of doing good, but are also capable of doing evil. Some people do a great deal of good in the lives, others don't. But no human being is perfect. We all sin.

  • 3 months ago

    He's rejecting hundreds of years of philosophical thought about ethics.

  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    God is Holy.

    Holy as in 'whole'; perfect. Uncorrupted.

    Do you know anyone like that?

    No.... none of us are holy.

    So because God lllllloves us.... I mean.... love beyond human understanding.... He condescended to earth and became one of us... to give us a way to Himself.

    This is grace.

    Grace is an afront to humans, because we want to be able to say that we EARNED our salvation... that we were somehow good enough to get to heaven on our own.

    Grace says "NO. You can never meet My standards. So I am giving you a way to get right with Me. If you trust Me I will do it."

    There is no DIY salvation.

  • 3 months ago

    Jesus always have given credit to his father, he modestly gave praise to his father. 

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  • 3 months ago

    Jesus was supposed to have a human nature like the rest of us and that human nature is not purely good, that is why the story of Original Sin came about with a magical tale to explain why our human nature is as it is. All humans have internal struggles between what is right and wrong, where the intellect can know what is right intellectually but the emotions want something different and causes a temptation to be beaten in order to do what is right. Jesus is supposed to be the only human to beat emotions every time but because he had the temptations in the first place, he could not consider himself good, only God. That is the significance of the Flesh, it has emotions that can rule. Of course if you read the actions of God in the Old Testament, it is debatable as to whether God is good, He is described with the emotion of jealousy, which is a destructive emotion.

  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    Jesus was both human (Son of man) AND God (Son of God). He had a human mother and God is his Father. When Jesus made statements like that, he was speaking of his flesh as an human. The Bible teaches that no flesh is good. God alone is good, just as Jesus stated. The original Greek word for good actually means perfect. Only God is perfect. Jesus' flesh was not God. It was made from dust of the earth. Jesus' Spirit was God making him God in human flesh. 

    1 Timothy 3:16 KJV — And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

  • 4 months ago


    A rich man tried to glorify Jesus with the title “Good Teacher,” Jesus modestly replied: “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good except one, God.” (Mark 10:17, 18) Jesus had reference to the term Good Teacher: The man was evidently using the words “Good Teacher” as a flattering and formalistic title, since such honor was usually demanded by the religious leaders. While Jesus had no objection to being properly identified as “Teacher” and “Lord” (Joh 13:13), he directed all honor to his Father.

    Also, Nobody is good except one, God: Jesus here recognizes Jehovah as the ultimate standard of what is good, the One who has the sovereign right to determine what is good and what is bad. By rebelliously eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, Adam and Eve sought to assume that right. (Ge 2:17; 3:4-6) Unlike them, Jesus humbly leaves the setting of standards to his Father. God has expressed and defined what is good by means of what he has commanded in his Word.​—Mr 10:19.  Therefore Jesus recognized Jehovah as the ultimate standard of what is good.  Jehovah God, therefore, by his very Person, his ways, and his words, was and is the Supreme Standard for all the universe, the definition and the sum of all goodness.  Here is an example of what happened to Herod Agrippa I.

    Herod Agrippa I, who became the leader of Judea about eight years later, had a very different attitude from that of Jesus. One day, at a special meeting, Herod put on very impressive and expensive royal clothing. When the people saw him and heard him, they shouted: “A god’s voice, and not a man’s!” Herod loved to be praised. But then what happened? “Instantly the angel of Jehovah struck him, because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten up with worms and died five days later.” (Acts 12:21-23) Josephus also recorded this event, adding a few details. He wrote that Agrippa gave his speech in “a garment made wholly of silver.” He also said that ‘a severe pain arose in Agrippa’s belly, and began in a most violent manner.’ He died five days later, said Josephus.  Clearly, Jehovah had not chosen Herod to be a leader. However, Jesus proved that God had chosen him, and he constantly honored Jehovah as the Supreme Leader of His people.  May this warning example move us to continue walking in the fear of Jehovah, shunning pride and giving him the glory. 

    Source(s): jw.org
  • 4 months ago

    Context for Matthew 19:17 is Jesus being asked, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" The question was completely wrong because no amount of doing apparently good things will gain anybody eternal life. So Jesus got the man thinking by replying, "Why do you call me good? There is none good but God." Jesus knew the man was sincere, but that he had great wealth, which was holding him back from entering into the Kingdom of God. He told him that, "to be perfect", he should sell what he had, give to the poor, and then follow Him. 

    No human should think that they are 'good' in God's eyes. We may be, in the eyes of fellow humans, but no human is 'good' in the sense that God is good. Read Psalm 14:1 & Ecclesiastes 7:20 & Romans 3:10. In Exodus 33:17-23 God agreed to show Moses His glory by making His goodness pass before him while hidden in the cleft of a rock. Such is the glorious goodness of God that when He descended on Mount Sinai, the mountain quaked and there was "a devouring fire on the top of the mount"; also the appearance of a paved work of sapphire under God's 'feet'. Awesome stuff. The people were terrified to go near the base of the mountain for fear of being struck dead. Think of that when you think of only God being Good. Jesus, being God incarnate, His glory veiled, knew how to stop people dead in their tracks when vainly supposing that they could do good deeds to earn eternal life.

  • 4 months ago

    Flattery will get you everything if Your target is weak or has a large ego.  Jesus responded in a way not to offend the individual who had honsetly tried to be good all his life and sought approval from Jesus:  There is always room for improvement except for the Creator Father.

  • 4 months ago

    Ain't nobody on earth that is holy and righteous enough to stand before Him without burning up.

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