Jedi Lessons in God’s Goodness

Jedi Lessons in God’s Goodness

Ever caught someone saying, “Deep down, I know he’s a good person,” right after that someone messed up big time? It’s like the universal fallback line for folks who’ve goofed.

Luke’s Desperate Plea

If you’re a Star Wars buff, you can’t erase Luke Skywalker’s desperate plea to his pops, Darth Vader, in Return of the Jedi. Picture this: Luke’s in a lightsaber duel, takes down his old man, and boom—the creepy Emperor steps in, zapping Luke like he’s the Colonel’s secret recipe. In the midst of this chaos, Luke belts out, “Father help! I know there is good in you” (loosely paraphrased). Crazy, right? Despite Darth Vader’s track record—murdering millions, lifelong rebellion, and a permanent membership in the bad dude club—Luke clings to the belief that there’s a smidge of goodness in the old man.

Sorry, Luke. God’s got a different perspective on goodness.

God’s Perspective on Goodness

A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. Luke 18:18-19 (NASB1995)

This Bible verse hits you right in the feelings, claiming that No One is Good. It’s like God’s mic-drop moment on the whole goodness debate. According to the Psalmist, God straight-up declares that there isn’t a soul out there doing good! Jesus repeats the same sentiment to the holier-than-thou religious leaders of his day, telling them, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19).

The Illusion of Self-Generated Goodness

We, the self-centered humans of the world, love to think the good we do comes from some intrinsic well of virtue within us. It’s our attempt to feel good about ourselves, hide our flaws, and brush off the sin lurking in every nook and cranny of our lives.

Here’s the kicker: No one does good! God spells it out clearly; He’s the ultimate source of all goodness. Any good deed you pull off? Yeah, it had its origins in the goodness of God. He’s the instigator of all things good:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17 (ESV)

So, when your non-believing buddy or that person who’s not exactly God’s biggest fan decides to be a saint for a day, it’s just God’s goodness rubbing off on them, steering them away from their usual shenanigans. If they can pull off a good deed, shouldn’t we, as believers, be smashing it in the good works department? If those far from God can do His good deeds, imagine what we, close to Him, can achieve!

Believers: Smashing It in Good Works

As believers, we don’t need God to ring us up with a divine calling to do good. Our heavenly Father kickstarts every good work. So, take a minute, ponder the good deeds you can sprinkle in your community, church, or home.

Here are 5 ways to walk in God’s Goodness:

  1. Goodness is Heaven-Sent: Just like Luke had faith in the speck of good within Darth Vader, God’s perspective is crystal clear—No One is Good on their own. Goodness is God’s gift to us, not something we conjure up. Every good deed you’ve pulled off? Thank the man upstairs; He’s the ultimate source of all things good.

    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17 (ESV)

  2. Mic-Drop Moment: That Bible verse hits differently, declaring that there’s not a single soul out there doing good. Even Jesus dropped the mic on the holier-than-thou crew, stating, “No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19). It’s a reality check—we’re not the virtuous heroes we sometimes think we are.

    They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:3 (ESV)

  3. The Godly Influence on the Unlikely: When your non-believing buddy suddenly channels Mother Teresa, it’s not a random act of kindness. It’s God’s goodness influencing them to break away from their usual mischief. So, if they can pull off a good deed, imagine the potential we, as believers, have to make a positive impact!

    For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 (ESV)

  4. God Starts the Good Work: Forget waiting for a heavenly voicemail for a divine calling. Our Father in heaven jumpstarts every good work. So, instead of twiddling our thumbs, let’s think about the good deeds we can weave into the fabric of our communities, churches, and homes.

    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

  5. Behind the Scenes of Redemption: Darth Vader’s redemption arc might seem like a cool twist in Star Wars, but if you peek beyond the lightsabers and space battles, it’s a glimpse of God at work. That one act of redemption goes against everything Vader stood for, echoing the idea that God can work through the most unlikely sources to bring about goodness.

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (ESV)

God’s Goodness at Work in Darth Vader

Quick side note: Darth Vader eventually swoops in to save the day after six movies and two decades. But if we peel back the layers of Star Wars’ mystical plot, we might just see God at work in Darth Vader, orchestrating that one act that goes against everything he stands for. Crazy, huh?

About The Author

Jesse Velez

Although Jesse Velez will forever carry the essence of a Native New Yorker, he currently calls the sun-soaked city of Miami, Florida, his home. Celebrating a marriage of 31+ years to Eusebia, he proudly embraces his role as the father of five grown children. Jesse has cultivated a profound grasp of the Bible over the span of 40+ years, dedicated to following and serving Jesus while engaging in extensive reading and in-depth study of the scriptures.