June 9, 2021
Thank you for praying each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. The Bible says, “A good man obtains favor from the Lord” (Prov. 12:2).
There are at least three people in the New Testament who were called good (agathos in the original text).
The Greek word agathos has a broad meaning including the concepts of pleasantness, agreeability, joyfulness, happiness, uprightness, and honorability. According to Vine’s Word Studies, this word describes what is good in its character and its beneficial effect.
The first and foremost person described as good was Jesus. Some called Him a “good man,” others a “good teacher” (Jn. 7:12, Mar. 10:17). When Nathanael heard about Him, he asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (Jn. 1:46). We all know the answer to this question.
Jesus was the essence of all things good because He was God manifested as a man, therefore He was the epitome of all that this word means. He was morally good and He pleased His Father in every way. He was good to His family. He was good to His disciples. He was good to the needy. He was good His enemies. He was always good!
The second person was Joseph. “Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man” (Lk. 23:50). Most of the men who formed a part of this high Jewish council were hypocritical and ruthless. They put on a front of being religious, yet their hearts were far from God. Joseph was altogether different.
The two words that are fused together in this text are “good and righteous.” Very often a person may be described as one or the other. It is delightful to see both evident in one man. He did what was good. He genuinely cared for others. He was a joy to be around, and yet he was just and fair. He was upright before his God. The best way to describe Joseph is to say that he was a balanced man.
The third was Barnabas. “When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord” (Acts 11:23-24). Barnabas was sent to Antioch from Jerusalem because souls were getting saved and needed guidance.
The description of Barnabas was so commendable. Linked with his label of being a good man was the idea of being full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. This means that he allowed the Spirit of God to control his actions and that his confidence and trust were founded in God.
The main reason I began this search on people described in the Bible as good was because of another man who I loved, valued, and admired. His name was Sandy Feltham.
The way I would describe my friend of many years is that he was a good man. Sadly for us, the Lord in His wisdom and sovereignty chose to take him home last week at age seventy-three. We pray for his wife, his adult children, their families, his grandchildren, his fellow-elders, the local church he served, and the work of the gospel in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. He will be greatly missed.
Why? Because he was a good man! Not perfect, but a good man. He was like his Lord in many ways. He was like Joseph in that he was balanced and not given to extremes. He was like Barnabas in that those around him could see the reality of his faith being lived out.
Everyone who knew Sandy knew that he loved the Lord Jesus. He was fun to be around and always had a joke of some sort. He loved the gospel. And he loved to share it with others, which he did with passion.
May each of us seek with all our hearts to be the good man, the good woman, God intends us to be.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel