From Beside the Still Waters devotional...
Good Master or Lord - Read: Mark 10:17-34
Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? - Mark 10:17
One day a man was helping me with a repair project. He made the comment that he wants to live his life in such a way that when the good Lord takes him home, people will remember him for the good things he has done. In our continuing conversation, it became obvious that the man considered it optional to be honest in paying taxes and in some other matters.
The expression 'the good Lord' is similar to "Good Master", the title used by the rich young ruler who came running to Jesus with a question. Jesus wasn't flattered by the title. He saw the man's heart and answered his question in such a way that he walked away disappointed. All the good things he had done were commendable, but when Jesus asked him to sell his possessions, the ruler was not willing.
In sharp contrast is one of the thieves crucified with Jesus. He hadn't lived a life of good deeds, and he hadn't kept the commandments from his youth. He made a confession before a mocking crowd and to his fellow thief on the other cross. "Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?" Then to Jesus he said, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." Jesus didn't question him about the title "Lord". Jesus saw his heart and promised that he would go to paradise.
The rich young ruler found that all the good he had done wasn't great enough to gain eternal life. The thief on the cross found that all the evil he had done wasn't too great for Jesus to pardon. The key question was (and still is), Have we made Jesus out "Lord" or do we just call Him "Good Master"?
Darrell Richard - Goshen, IN
To call Christ Lord is to acknowledge that He has the full right to govern our lives.