The Jesus Dictionary

Posted on July 5, 2022 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters

            I am a big fan of words. I like thinking about words. Their origin. Their meaning. I like thinking about the fact that I would not be writing this right now without God’s gift of words. Language, in general, is pretty miraculous if you take a moment to think about it. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I just used the word “miraculous” incorrectly…or at least in an exaggerated way.

Did you ever notice that God is very good at redefining words? Maybe a better way to put it is that God is faithful to help His children understand and define words accurately. Let me give you an example. Consider the word “good.” An important qualifier is whose definition of the word “good” we are using. Merriam-Webster, whoever that is, defines “good” as an adjective, “of favorable character or tendency.” Now, we run into the issue of having to define the word “favorable.” Side note – my intention with this article is not to dive super deep into morals and standards…I just find it impossible not to with this topic. The reason being is that these words, outside of an objective source, always end up being subjective, that is, open to opinion.

In Luke chapter 18, a man commonly described as the Rich Young Ruler asks Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responds, “Why do you call Me good? Only God is truly good.” Jesus, here, is really good…eh, eh…see what I did there?…Jesus is really tactful in his addressing the man’s question. As usual, Jesus points to the Father…to God. He moves the attention from Himself to the Father while at the same time addressing the issue of what is, in fact, good. He actually defines the word “good” by a “who.” And this is helpful to us all. In order to know what is good, we need a defining factor. In reality, in order to define anything, a definitive is necessary. If that sentence sounds crazy, that’s because it is…but it’s also crazy true!

OK…I think we need another example. Let’s take the color green. Can we all agree that the color green is the color of most leaves, or grass, certainly, or a green bean…wow, go figure. And let’s imagine that someone says, “No. I see green as the sky, and a pair of green jeans, and that Blue Jay is green.” Seriously, imagine that. It’s fun. OK…so, can we all agree that the person who described all those things as green, when they were obviously blue, was wrong? OK…good. And why were they wrong? Because colors are not up for opinion. There is a standard. The same, in order to live a functional, healthy, orderly life, must be said for the words that we use…certainly words like “good.”

Let’s go a little deeper with this…just a little. I promise. The word “good” involves morals, yes? We can say, “He’s a good person.” Why? Because he does the “right” thing. But, what makes the “right” thing the right thing? There are certainly worldly, cultural, common, and human standards to what is “right” but these standards are, in no way, universal. It would be helpful to have a set standard in this area, right? A standard that is not open to opinion.

The word “standard” is defined, by this Merriam-Webster person again, as “something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example.” I like that word “authority.” Who is the authority on the color green? I’d say whoever created the color gets to define it. No matter the shade, there is a color wheel that defines certain colors as green. The same can be said of goodness.

Morals are undeniably real…they are a part of life whether we acknowledge them or not. There are things that most people would agree are “good” relative to morals. Serving the needs of another human? Good. Giving consideration and care to the environment? Good. Being kind to animals…especially little kitties? Good. But where does it end? Maybe the more important question is where does it begin? Who invented goodness? Like colors and the corresponding color wheel, we must have a standard when it comes to our morals.

The Bible is this moral standard. Whether we like it or not, the Bible defines life. The Bible is the Creator’s color wheel, giving us a basis off of which to refer. There is only One who is good. His name is Jesus and His Father is God and Their Holy Spirit is available to enlighten us…They are All faithful to assist in defining life on Their terms, not ours. All this talk of green has me thinking…green jeans would be pretty awesome. And a Green Jay? Wow.


Written by James Serpico: James is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and the Director of Programming Ministries at America’s Keswick. He is a son, a brother and an uncle but, above all, James is a child of the Most High God. He is prayerful that his life will speak of the adoption and eternal inheritance that is found in Christ Jesus.

Think About This:“So many Christians seek to live the pain-free Christian life. Such a life has no impact.” – Michael Oh

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 31-32Acts 13:1-23| You can download our 2022 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” – 1 John 4:10-11

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


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