I said, "Well thank you very much."
A day later I was talking on the phone, and I ended by saying, "Thank you, you're a good man."
One day a man addressed Jesus saying, "Good teacher… What must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked. "Only God is truly good."
In the context of the stories Mark includes in this segment of the Gospel of Mark, I actually think Jesus is questioning how this man views Jesus' Divinity, more than he is actually saying that only God is good. We know that Jesus was a good man, inside and out … He was Divine!
When I am called "a good man" or I call someone "a good man" I merely hear that I am liked or appreciated, and that's what I mean when I say it to someone else too. "I like you." "I appreciate you." "Thank you for helping me." It's more just a phrase we use in our culture.
But, those times when I do something genuinely good — something where I am totally unselfish –and the fruit of goodness suddenly ripens in my life, now that's different. That's from the miracle of a changed life. Somehow the Holy Spirit, living inside me, compels me to do good and act kindly and to count others better than myself … not for me, but for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
Now that's miraculous! I'm positive about that. I know myself fairly well, and I'm darned sure not good enough to abandon my own needs and to sustain a selfless, outward-oriented life, at least not for not very long.