Were you one of those students who threw up their hand any time the teacher asked a question? I wasn’t. I usually knew the answer, but I didn’t want the attention that came with having my name called out in class!
Questions make us think. Sometimes we’re confident we know the right answer, and other times, we’re unsure how we should respond.
Today I want to look at seven questions Jesus asked different people during His ministry here on earth. I think they’re questions we can learn from as we consider the answers.
1. “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” ~Matthew 14:31
Here’s the story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus. He starts out well, but then his attention turns from Jesus to the boisterous winds and stormy waves and he begins to sink.
I love that the verse says “immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand.” He was right there to catch Peter. But then the question comes to Peter, why did you doubt?
Why do we doubt? God’s Word is full of His promises, and we know that He is faithful. Yet we’re human. And when the trials come, all too often we, like Peter, take our eyes off Jesus and doubt whether He can really come through for us this time.
How thankful I am that God is always there to reach out His hand to us. May our faith be strengthened as we learn to trust Him more.
2. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” ~Mark 8:36
The answer to this question is simple. Nothing. We could have every single material possession we want, oodles of money in the bank, recognition, fame, and power. But the second we die, if we don’t have Jesus as our Savior, every bit of that is worthless to us.
Yet is that how we prioritize our lives? I’m preaching to myself here for sure. Do I put more time each day into preparing my soul for Heaven than I do accumulating things here on earth? Certainly we have duties and responsibilities that we have to carry out as part of life. But I know that I need to evaluate my priorities and line them up with eternity in view.
3. “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” ~Matthew 7:3
Why? Because it’s easier to see what he’s doing wrong than it is to be honest with myself and confront my own faults. Let me begin by dealing with my own issues before I confront someone else with theirs.
How we need discernment to recognize our wrongdoings. It’s yet another reason it’s so important to spend time in the Bible. Scripture can be that mirror that reveals our sin and causes us to repent.
4. “And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.” ~Matthew 9:28
Two blind men have been following Jesus and asking Him to have mercy on them. Here Jesus asks if they have faith that He can heal them from their blindness. Obviously they do, because in the following verse He says, “According to your faith be it unto you” and He heals them.
Do we believe that God can do far above what we ask or think? [Ephesians 3:20] What is the state of our faith? I know that way too often mine is weak. Yet nothing is impossible with our God.
Our older daughter is taking final exams for her freshman year of college this week. For months before she went away last fall, I prayed for good roommates for her. God answered above and beyond what I could have hoped! Four girls with no drama over six months of living together – what a blessing!
5. “And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?” ~Matthew 20:32
Two blind men sitting by the side of the road cry out to Jesus to have mercy on them. Jesus asks, “What do you want?” In the following verse, they answer, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”
Maybe their need seems very obvious to us. Yet how would we answer that question? What is our most obvious need? Is that where we need Jesus to step in, or is there something deeper, perhaps a spiritual need? The passage ends by saying that Jesus had compassion on them, and healed them. Praise God for His compassion and the power He has to do whatever needs to be accomplished in our lives.
6. “And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?” ~Luke 17:17
This is one of my favorite Bible passages because it reminds me of the importance of gratitude. Jesus has just healed ten lepers, and only one has returned to give thanks. He knows the answer to His question here, as do we. The nine were too excited or too busy celebrating or immediately hurrying home to their families to return and thank their Healer.
Being healed from leprosy is not likely our story. But I feel sure we’ve let answers to prayer and specific blessings in our lives pass by without ever going to God and thanking Him. Let’s make it a continual practice to offer praise and gratitude to God for all He does for us.
7. “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.” ~John 21:15
We end with a simple one. Do we love Jesus? If so, are we living in a way that demonstrates that we do?
I hope we find ourselves challenged to evaluate our own walk with God as we consider how we would answer these questions!