Mike Pittman, January 22, 2012
People use the adjective "good" in describing a person rather loosely. The "good" person might be the fellow who brings the beer, or "good ole Mr. Jones" next door.
God's Book uses the word very sparingly. There are only two men in the New Testament that God referred to as "good": Barnabas and Joseph of Arimathea (Acts 11:22-24: Luke 23:50). Let's think about why God heaped such praise on Joseph and called him a good man.
He stood with the Lord while others forsook Him (Luke 23:50-53). Peter cursed and swore and denied Christ. Other disciples scattered. Joseph stood firm. The next time you want to use the adjective "good" to describe a man ask yourself: "Is he the kind of person who will stand for what is right even if he has to stand alone?"
Difficulty would not stand in his way. Mark 15:43 says that Joseph, "coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus." Imagine the conviction it took to go to Pilate who, only a few hours earlier, had Jesus put to death in order to please the Jews. Difficulty would not stand in his way, for "he was waiting for the kingdom of God" (Mark 15:43).
He was just (Luke 23:50). Joseph could be depended on to do what is right. He would have nothing to do with the council condemning Jesus. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all be counted on to do what is right and just?
Perhaps we should be more careful about how we use the word "good." It should be the goal of us all to hear the Lord say: "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matt. 25:21).
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