Matthew 19:17
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."

King James Bible
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said to him, What askest thou me concerning goodness? one is good. But if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments.

World English Bible
He said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."

Young's Literal Translation
And he said to him, 'Why me dost thou call good? no one is good except One -- God; but if thou dost will to enter into the life, keep the commands.'

Matthew 19:17 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Why callest thou me good? - Why do you give to me a title that belongs only to God? You suppose me to be only a man, yet you give me an appellation that belongs only to God.

It is improper to use titles in this manner. As you Jews use them they are unmeaning; and though the title may apply to me, yet, you did not intend to use it in the sense in which it is proper, as denoting infinite perfection or divinity; but you intended to use it as a complimentary or a flattering title, applied to me as if I were a mere man - a title which belongs only to God. The intentions, the habit of using mere titles, and applying as a compliment terms belonging only to God, is wrong. Christ did not intend here to disclaim divinity, or to say anything about his own character, but simply to reprove the intention and habit of the young man - a most severe reproof of a foolish habit of compliment and flattery, and seeking pompous titles.

Keep the commandments - That is, do what God has commanded. He in the next verses informs him what he meant by the commandments. Jesus said this, doubtless, to try him, and to convince him that he had by no means kept the commandments, and that in supposing he had he was altogether deceived. The young man thought he had kept them, and was relying on them for salvation. It was of great importance, therefore, to convince him that he was, after all, a sinner. Christ did not mean to say that any man would be saved by the works of the law, for the Bible teaches plainly that such will not be the case, Romans 3:20, Romans 3:28; Romans 4:6; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:9; 2 Timothy 1:9. At the same time, however, it is true that if a man perfectly complied with the requirements of the law he would be saved, for there would be no reason why he should be condemned. Jesus, therefore, since he saw he was depending on his works, told him that if he would enter into life that is, into heaven - he must keep the commandments; if he was depending on them he must keep them perfectly, and if this was done he would be saved. The reasons why Christ gave him this direction were, probably:

1. because it was his duty to keep them.

2. because the young man depended on them, and he ought to understand what was required if he did - that they should be kept perfectly, or that they were not kept at all.

3. because he wanted to test him, to show him that he did not keep them, and thus to show him his need of a Saviour.

Matthew 19:17 Parallel Commentaries

Library
On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xix. 21,"Go, Sell that Thou Hast, and Give to the Poor," Etc.
1. The Gospel by the present lesson has reminded me to speak to you, Beloved, of the heavenly treasure. For our God hath not, as unbelieving covetous men suppose, wished us to lose what we have: if what hath been enjoined us be properly understood, and piously believed, and devoutly received; He hath not enjoined us to lose, but rather shown a place where we may lay up. For no man can help thinking of his treasure, and following his riches in a kind of journeying of the heart. If then they are buried
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

Love Thy Neighbour
I shall notice, first of all, the command; secondly, I shall try and bring some reasons for your obedience to it; and afterwards, I shall draw some suggestions from the law itself. I. First, then, THE COMMAND. It is the second great commandment. The first is, "Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God," and there, the proper standard is, thou shalt love thy God more than thyself. The second commandment is, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour," and the standard there is a little lower, but still preeminently high,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

On the Words of the Gospel, "When Jesus had Finished These Sayings," Etc. --S. Matt. xix. 1
On the Words of the Gospel, "When Jesus Had Finished These Sayings," Etc.--S. Matt. xix. 1 I. Jesus Who Chose The Fishermen, Himself also useth a net, and changeth place for place. Why? Not only that He may gain more of those who love God by His visitation; but also, as it seems to me, that He may hallow more places. To the Jews He becomes as a Jew that He may gain the Jews; to them that are under the Law as under the Law, that He may redeem them that are under the Law; to the weak as weak, that
St. Cyril of Jerusalem—Lectures of S. Cyril of Jerusalem

Eligius, Bishop of Noyon.
THE life of this pious bishop is so much the more worthy our consideration, on account of his having passed many years in the position of an ordinary citizen, before he entered on the clerical office; because his life may thus afford us a picture of the pious citizens of his time. Eligius was born at Chatelàt, a mile from Limoges, A. D. 588. His family had been Christian for many generations, and he received a pious education, [8] the result of which extended throughout his life. In his youth,
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Cross References
Leviticus 18:5
'So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the LORD.

Nehemiah 9:29
And admonished them in order to turn them back to Your law. Yet they acted arrogantly and did not listen to Your commandments but sinned against Your ordinances, By which if a man observes them he shall live. And they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not listen.

Psalm 119:68
You are good and do good; Teach me Your statutes.

Psalm 145:9
The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.

Ezekiel 20:21
"But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness.

Luke 10:28
And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE."

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