Luke 18:18-19 (BSB), “Then a certain ruler asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘Why do you call Me good?’ Jesus replied. ‘No one is good except God alone’.”
Those who deny the deity of Christ often cite Luke 18:18-19 or Mark 10:17-18 as a proof text to allege that Jesus could not be God. However, Jesus never said that he was not God. He simply said, “Why do you call me good?”, “No one is good except God alone”. Hence, Jesus was not confronting this man for saying “good teacher,” he simply affirmed his deity as the only good God.
Since only God is without sin, Jesus affirmed that “No one is good except God alone”. To be “good” in the context of Luke 18:18-19 has to be defined as being without sin because although human beings can exemplify good behaviour, no man is good in the context of being good like God (without sin).
Jesus Has To Be Good Because He Never Sinned
Could Jesus have been bad instead of good? How could it be possible for Jesus to have been bad instead of good? If Jesus was bad, then that would mean that he had sinned. If that were the case, then inspired scripture would be in error for stating that Jesus never sinned.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV), “For our sake he made him to be sin who KNEW NO SIN …”
1 Peter 2:22 (ESV), “HE COMMITTED NO SIN, neither was deceit found in his mouth.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV), “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet WITHOUT SIN.”
No Unitarian Socinian or Jehovah’s Witness could ever allege that Jesus sinned without violating Hebrews 4:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21, and 1 Peter 2:22. Since Jesus is the only man who never sinned while living on the earth after the fall of Adam and Eve, he had to have been good in the sense of being the perfect sinless human being. Therefore, Jesus had to have been good like God as he was the only man living on earth at that time who had not committed sin.
Unlike all other human beings living on the earth during the time of Christ, Jesus is the only man who was good. Adam and Eve were good before they fell into sin because they were created in innocence, but the man Christ Jesus was the only good man on the earth when he said, “No one is good except God alone.” Since inspired scripture explicitly states that the man Christ Jesus was the only man living on earth (after the fall of Adam and Eve) without any sin, he had to have been affirming that he was the only good God who came to save us from our sins.