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Cherylu, I’m not sure how well that argument works. Matthew has the man ask, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”; and Jesus says in response, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good” (Matt. 19:16-17). Matthew, therefore, avoids the possibility that Jesus denies that he himself is good, presumably because he was concerned that Mark’s version (Mk. 10:17-18) could be taken to mean that Jesus was not “good”. In other words, Matthew appears not to have understood Jesus’ words in Mark 10:18 to mean that he was “asking them why they are giving Him God’s attributes UNLESS they believe Him to be God since only God is good”.

Besides, the issue in the conversation is not who Jesus is but where the man is to find the way to the life of the age to come. God is good because he gave Israel the Law. The good comes from keeping the commandments. If Jesus was really making a statement about his divine identity, surely the man, who had kept the commandments from his youth, would at least have raised an eyebrow in response.

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