According to Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, good is defined as “possessing desired qualities;” “Possessing moral excellence or virtue;” and “Kind; benevolent; humane; merciful.” There are many stories within the Bible that discusses what is good and what is meant by being good including the Good Samaritan and the Good Shepherd but more so, the Bible explains that goodness is rooted within the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
One example is Jesus Christ being referred to as the Good Shepherd. In both Matthew 18 and Luke 15, Jesus tells of the shepherd that leaves the ninety nine sheep to go looking for and bring back the one lost sheep that wandered away. A shepherd, or sheep herder, is one that tends a flock and as Christians, we are like sheep that need a shepherd that goes out to find the lost even if it’s just the one.
Diggin’ Deeper into the Good Shepherd, the example of good here is Jesus never gives up on his children and goes out to look for all sheep that have strayed away including sinners: “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them” (Luks 15:2). This same principle is true in the Parable of the Good Samaritan which is the story of love and mercy toward your fellow man.
There is no denying that there have been many explanations for the Good Samarian along with other analogies and metaphors to help readers better understand it. However, the best way for Christians to understand something is to personally look at the scriptures and the Good Samaritan, as told by Jesus, was the man that showed mercy for a man dying on side of the road but because of his goodness and mercy shown to the dying man, he was able to save his life.
This story is important because a priest and Levite passed by the man showing no mercy and like the Good Shepherd in the story of the one hundred sheep; mercy is an important element and both stories exemplify that in both mercy and love are components of good. Psalms 107:1 reads “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” In other words, it is God that is good and we should always be thankful for his love and mercy as they endure throughout time.