Christ’s Most Challenging Questions
One of Jesus’ favorite teaching tools was to ask pointed questions of His listeners. Some of His greatest lessons are still “brought home” simply because He asks us to think deeply about truth. The Lord’s questions can cut quickly to the heart of a matter, and they are surely worthy of our study. Think upon these things:
“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk?’” (Mk 2:9). Jesus had the power on earth to forgive sins, but many doubted Him. The Lord performed miracles to validate His claim that He was the Messiah. When the paralytic immediately arose, the people knew they were in the presence of Deity. Who could doubt that He had spiritual power as well?
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt 14:31). Questions can sometimes be embarrassing — especially when they carry a tone of mild rebuke. Peter literally walked on water, but as so many Christians do today, he took his eyes off the Lord and focused on the tempestuous sea around him. Distractions can be disastrous to our souls!
“Who do you say that I am?” (Matt 16:15). The answer to this question makes all the difference in the world. When Jesus asked it of His disciples, He was probing their spiritual understanding. Unfortunately, many today do not think as deeply as Peter. Some think Jesus a mere prophet, or a nice, but misguided man. Truth is, based on what He said, Jesus is either Lord, liar or a lunatic. There are no other options!
“What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mk 8:37). A soul is the most precious thing in the world because a soul is the only thing in this world that will last for eternity! Jesus, the Man of proper values, understood this principle and prompted His followers to consider it as well. Through the ages men have sold their souls for the cheap thrill of the “here and now.” How foolish and tragic!
“Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” (Jn 6:5). We may well be guilty of self-deception concerning our faith (1 Cor 10:12). Philip had been with Jesus for a long time, yet Jesus tested his faith with this question before the feeding of the five thousand. Philip’s response was less than inspiring: “we haven’t enough money, Lord!” How many well-meaning people have disregarded the will of God because they were so busy counting pennies that they couldn’t see to the needs of people?
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do the things I say?” (Luke 6:46). Multitudes claim to follow Jesus, yet are not obedient to His will. To ignore His word is to pay mere lip service to Jesus without truly making Him the Lord of our lives. We make a mockery of the cross and the price He paid on our behalf when we live in rebellion to Jesus’ will. “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
“Why are you sleeping?” (Mk 14:37). As Jesus agonized, wept, and prayed in the garden, His disciples were sleeping. Some of the most important opportunities of our lives may pass us by while we are asleep spiritually. Won’t you open your eyes? God blesses us abundantly, but He bids us watch vigilantly for opportunities to serve.
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt 27:46). As Jesus died on the cross, the Father had to turn His back on Christ as He bore the sin of the world. That kind of agony and loneliness is beyond our comprehension, but how thankful we should be that Jesus endured it for us! Let’s abide in His word daily. — John Baker