Questions Jesus Asked #81

Luke 6:32   (see also Question #1 – Matthew 5:46) – If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.” NIV

This passage is from Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain (level ground) recorded in Luke 6.  Its contents are similar to much of the content in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew 5-7.  While the wording is slightly different, the idea is the same.  However, it is an idea worth repeating.

If as Christ-followers we are to become transformed into the image or likeness of Jesus, then it follows that we begin to act and respond in ways that Jesus would act and respond.  One of those ways is how we treat people. God is always the initiator of love. According to John 3:16, it was God’s love that prompted Him to send Jesus to this earth to reveal His love for us in a tangible way. It was Jesus’ love that prompted Him to die on the cross for our sins. This love was given to us even before we came to follow Jesus while we were still “sinners.” (Romans 5:6-8) Continue reading

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Questions Jesus Asked # 80

Luke 6:9 – (see also Question #16 – Matthew 12:11-12, Mark 3:4, Luke 14:3) – Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” NIV

The account of Jesus healing the man with the “withered hand”  in a synagogue on the Sabbath is in other Gospels.  It was dealt with in Question #16 (Matthew 12:11-12); however Matthew has some men who wanted to catch Jesus breaking the Sabbath asking Jesus the question.  In Mark 3:4 and Luke 6:9, the writers have Jesus (knowing what they were thinking) bringing the man up in front of the synagogue and asking those present the question. Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #79

Luke 5:33-34  (see Matthew 9:15 – Question #11) –  They said to him, “John’s disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.”

            34 Jesus answered, “Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? 35 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.”  NIV

The people asking Jesus questions were “the Pharisees and teachers of the Law.” This question to Jesus follows some conversation with Jesus’ disciples after he went in to Levi (or Matthew) the tax collector’s house to socialize with some of Matthew’s friends. This was Matthew’s retirement party. Jesus had invited Levi (Matthew) to follow Him, and he did!  It was a time for celebrating and sharing Matthew’s story and Jesus’ invitation.  But some people weren’t happy about the situation. Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #78

Luke 5:22 – Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?”    (similar to Question #9 – Matt. 9:4)

Jesus asked this question to a group of Pharisees and teachers of the law, who got upset when He told a paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven before He healed him. Question #9 deals with that situation.  Matthew used the phrase “evil thoughts.” Luke words the question slightly differently.

We can think all sorts of things in our hearts… some things that we never verbalize to anyone for a variety of reasons.  They may be fearful things, lustful things, prideful things, angry/bitter things, shameful things, etc.  You get the picture.  These things that we are hiding in our hearts may be crippling our spiritual or emotional life … our relationships with God and with other people.  Other people may not know what we’re hiding but Jesus does.  He can see into our heart.  He wants to help transform those thoughts with the help of the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #77

NOTE:   After a several month break in posting “Questions Jesus Asked,” I am starting up again devotionally considering questions from Luke’s Gospel that weren’t included or were worded differently in Matthew’s and Mark’s Gospels.  I hope to share my thoughts with you once or twice a week.

Luke 2:49-50 –  “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”  50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.  NIV

Twelve year old Jesus addressed these questions to his parents in connection with a trip that involved traveling with other families from Nazareth to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. Luke shares this account of the events leading up to Jesus’ questions: Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #76

 Mark 12:24 – similar to Question #45 – Matthew 22:31-32 –  Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?” NIV

This question is similar to the last question because in Matthew’s Gospel (Matt. 22:29). It was recorded as a statement, and Mark records it as a rhetorical question. I did deal with Jesus’ follow-up question #45 (Matt. 22-31-32). But this is a great question for all of us to ask ourselves.

Many times we find ourselves making mistakes or missing opportunities because we do not know what the Scriptures say about something and /or we underestimate the power (and possibly the love) of God. We neglect the guidance given to us in the Scriptures because we are not regularly reading, studying, and meditating on them. Then we expect God to give us some special guidance in our situation when He has already done so in the Bible. Because He is gracious, merciful, and loving; He sometimes gives us that guidance; but I think that as the Holy Spirit, He would rather bring it to our recall from His Word. Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #75

Mark 11:15-17 – On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written:” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'” NIV

This incident of Jesus cleansing the Temple after the Triumphal Entry is also recorded in Matthew 21; but in Matthew’s Gospel Jesus states that “it is written.” In Mark’s Gospel it is asked as a rhetorical question “Is it not written,” with a quotation from Isaiah 56:7 where Yahweh is speaking that “my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?”

We are dealing here with the primary purpose of the Temple.  It was a place to approach God to be able to express needs and hear from Him. The Temple sacrificial system was designed that through the substitutionary sacrifice of an unblemished animal atone for the sins of the worshiper and allow him/her to approach Yahweh in a forgiven state. After offering sacrifice, the worshiper could then approach closer to the Holy of Holies which represented the Presence of Yahweh. Continue reading