Questions Jesus Asked #69

Mark 9:11-13 – And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

      12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”  NIV

Jesus, Peter, James, and John are walking down from the mountain top where Jesus has been transfigured, and Moses and Elijah have appeared before their eyes. The disciples are still trying to comprehend what they have just seen and heard, and Jesus tells them not to say a word about this whole experience until He has risen from the dead. That comment leads them into a whole new line of thought about what it means “to rise from the dead.”  Evidently, one of them remembers what the teachers of the law had said would happen before the Messiah came: that Elijah would return. They were quoting from the last verse in the Old Testament: “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.” (Malachi 4:5 – NIV) Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked Question #68

Mark 8:22-23 – They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” NIV

To me this is one of the most curious miracles that Jesus performed! He had performed so many miracles simply by speaking a word or touching someone, and here he spits and rubs it in the guy’s eyes, and it wasn’t because He disliked the guy. He healed the guy. God doesn’t always act the way we think He should. In fact, sometimes blessings come from things we at first see as problems. We need to keep trying to see how God is working in the midst of situations.

It is also interesting that this was a “two-step” miracle.  I don’t recall any others. After Jesus had rubbed spit in the man’s eyes, He asked, “Do you see anything?”  From his answer, the blind man said that he could see but not clearly. Jesus put his hands on his eyes again, and this time, he could see perfectly. I have often wondered what this was all about.  Why didn’t Jesus get it right the first time? Perhaps he wanted some acknowledgement before he finished the miracle?  Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #67

Mark 8:11-13 –  The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.”  13 Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side. NIV

By now Jesus’ ministry was in full swing. He had healed many people, raised a person from the dead, and performed many other miracles. Just before these Pharisees came to Jesus asking for a sign, He had fed 4,000 men plus women and children using seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. After every one was done eating, His disciples gathered seven baskets of leftovers!

Now these guys wanted a “sign!”  We are not told what “sign” would convince them that He was the Messiah. Evidently, they had something in mind. Jesus refused to play their game. All the signs were there, but they refused to see or even investigate them. As Ray Stevens wrote in Everything Is Beautiful: “There is none so blind as he who will not see.” Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked Question #66

Mark 5:39-40 – He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”  40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. NIV

Jesus and His disciples are leaving the woman who was healed when she touched Jesus’ robe and moving on to Jairus the synagogue ruler’s house when some men come and tell Jairus that his daughter has already died and suggest that he not bother Jesus any further.  Jesus ignored the reports and told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

From there Jesus takes only Peter, James, and John and proceeds to Jairus’ house where he finds the customary crowd of mourners lamenting the girl’s death. It is then that He asks the question and makes an astounding statement that turned their mourning into laughter because they didn’t believe the words He was speaking. Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #65

Mark 5:30-31  (see Luke 8:45) – At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

            31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?'” NIV

After being asked to leave by the gentiles whose pigs had died after the evil spirits entered them, Jesus travels by boat to a town that has a synagogue, possibly Capernaum which was His base of operations in Galilee. Upon arriving, the crowds welcome Him. Among the crowd is the synagogue ruler named Jairus whose daughter is dying. He pleads with Jesus to come and heal her, and Jesus goes with Him. It is during His journey to Jairus’ house surrounded by a curious crowd that Jesus asks this question. Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #64

Mark 5:9  (see also Luke 8:30) –  Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

      “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” NIV

Jesus and the disciples cross the Sea of Galilee to “the region of the Gerasenes.” Jesus moves from being confronted by wild water to being confronted by a wild man that is demon possessed.  From the Biblical description, this was one scary dude; but it is interesting to note that the evil spirits that possessed the man recognized Jesus and said, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!”

It is then that Jesus asks the spirit for his name. “Legion” was the answer because there were many evil spirits occupying this man’s body. Long story short: Jesus casts the demons into a herd of pigs that rush down a steep bank and are drowned in the lake. The demon possessed man was healed. He got all cleaned up, was in his right mind, and wanted to follow Jesus. The pig farmers and the townspeople were a little freaked out by the whole incident and the loss of their livestock and ask Jesus to get in His boat and leave. Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #63

Mark 4:40 (see also Matt. 8:26  which I missed going through Matthew) – He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” NIV

Jesus and His disciples had been ministering all day at the edge of the Sea of Galilee. As evening came, Jesus suggested that they get into the boat and go to the other side. The disciples got into the boat with Jesus, and He went to the stern and fell asleep on a cushion.  In route to the other side a severe squall comes up and these fishermen turned followers of Jesus realize that they are in danger and Jesus is still sleeping. They wake Him with these words:  “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  (Mark 4:38 – NIV)

Mark records what happened next: “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”  (Mark 4:39 – NIV) Continue reading