We need to listen critically and evaluate questions wisely.
A Dishonest Question
“Has God indeed said you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Genesis 3:1. No, God permitted Adam and Eve to eat from every tree, except this one: The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.. Be alert to dishonest questions which distort the Word of God.
A Complaining Question
“And the people complained against Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?’” Exodus 15:24. Instead of asking God who had delivered them from slavery in Egypt, to please provide for their needs, they complained.
An Accusatory Question
“And the people thirsted there for water and the people complained against Moses and said, ‘Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?’” Exodus 17:3. The lack of gratitude for God's deliverance of them from slavery in Egypt, is embarrassingly obvious as they accuse Moses of only wanting them to die of thirst in the wilderness!
An Angry Question
“Now Eliab, his oldest brother, heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’” 1 Samuel 17:28. This overreaction and presumptuous reading in motives and accusing David of desertion of duty, selfishness and pride is directly contrary to God's estimation of David as “a man after My own heart.”
A Cynical Question
“Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’” John 1:46. For blind prejudice and bias this statement testifies. The greatest Man who ever lived grew up in Nazareth.
A Suspicious Question
“Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, ‘How is it that you… ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’” John 4:9. Samaritans were despised by those from Judea and Galilee. Also social custom prevented men from talking to a woman that they were not related to.
A Provocative Question
“The Pharisees asked Jesus, ‘Why don’t Your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders?’” Mark 7:5. The Pharisees dismissed Christ and His disciples because they did not live in accordance to the traditions of their elders.
A Dis-ingenuous Question
“And behold there was a man who had a withered hand and they asked Him, saying, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’ that they might accuse Him.” Matthew 12:10. Often the questions we receive are insincere and disingenuous. An ulterior motive is driving a malicious agenda. We need wisdom in our answers.
A Whining Question
“And a great wind storm arose and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’” Mark 4:37-38. What an outrageous suggestion! That the Lord does not care? They should have implored the Lord’s intervention, not besmirched His intentions.
A Frustrated Question
“Now it happened as they went they entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His Word. But Martha was distracted with much serving and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’” Luke 10:38-40. Martha had allowed her labour of love to be derailed into a frustrating burden. Instead of first sitting at Jesus feet and learning from Him, she had rushed into a whirlwind of service. But devotion comes before duty.
A Manipulative Question
“Now when He came into the Temple, the chief priests and the elders of the Temple confronted Him as He was teaching and said, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?’” Matthew 21:23. Again it is clear that the Pharisees were not interested in learning from the Lord, but wanted to trap and betray Him, so that they may have reason to condemn Him to death.
A Dangerous Question
“Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher we know that You are true and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone. For You do not regard the person of men. Tell us therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?’” Matthew 22:15-17. Clearly the Pharisees wanted our Lord to say something that could be construed as treasonous to Rome, so that they could accuse Him to the Roman government to have Him executed.
A Skeptical Question
“Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going and how can we know the way?’” John 14:5. Jesus answered that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through Him.
A Cowardly Question
“Pilate said to them, ‘What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’” Matthew 27:22. Magistrates are sworn to uphold the law and protect the innocent, not to pass the buck and avoid responsibility.
An Eternally Important Wise Question
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26. Live in the light of eternity. Do not waste your time, talents and treasures. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” “Who do you say that I am?” It doesn’t matter what others say, what do you say concerning Christ, Jesus our Lord? “What must I do to inherit Eternal life?” “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” Isaiah 6:9
We are lost. Jesus is the Way.
We are deceived. Jesus is the Truth.
We are dead in our trespasses and sins. Jesus is the Life.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa