Holy Week #4: Joseph of Arimathea- “A good and just man”

Joseph is described as “a good man and a just “. (Luke 23:50) What does that mean?

The Greek word for “good” is “agathos” and it means, “upright, distinguished, excellent.” Joseph had good intentions and a reputation for doing good works that would benefit others. He wasn’t a good man as far as following God’s laws perfectly, for Jesus affirmed that no man is good except God.

The word “just” (dikaios) means “to be expected to behave according to existing rules; whether society’s and/or God’s.” Joseph was a very disciplined Pharisee and strictly adhered to their rules, regulations and external ordinances. He was not motivated by an inner holiness however, but rather his discipline brought him respect of others. Putting these words, “good and just” together, says that Joseph knew how to behave properly to benefit himself and others. He had a good reputation and was therefore well-respected and in good standing with society at large, including both the Jews and the Romans. Joseph had a good name in Jewish and Roman society, and that presented a problem for him.

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