Questions Jesus Asked #91

Luke 12:4-9  -see Matt.  10:28-33 (missed it)

      “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 8 I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. 9 But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.”  NIV

This rhetorical question about the worth of five sparrows is in the midst of Jesus’ teaching of whose opinion we should value the most. Should we be most concerned with those who can affect us physically right here and right now, or should we be most concerned with the opinion of the One who controls our eternal destiny?

This brings to mind the first four verses of Psalm 14 and Psalm 53 which begin:

      The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”  (Psalms 14:1; 53:1 – NIV)

As in Jesus’ day, we live in a time when people question whether or not God cares about His creation and what happens on earth.  Many people even doubt His existence, and conclude if God doesn’t care and may not even exist, why should we be concerned about what He has said or what He thinks?

Jesus’ question about the least of creatures and God’s concern for them is a way of  asserting to His listeners that just as God cares for the lowliest of His creation, He cares for each of us. If God cares for each of us, then He wants the best for each of us, and that best is found in following Jesus (acknowledging Him).  When we acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah sent from heaven to pay the price for our sins (confessing our sins and need for a Savior) and accept Him as the one we want to follow (Lord); then He acknowledges us as part of His forever family (Kingdom).

However, if we live as if God doesn’t exist and if Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection didn’t happen or didn’t matter, we have undervalued our eternal worth and sold ourselves short in eternity.  We didn’t accept the free gift of salvation that Jesus offered to us.

Questions to Consider: When it comes to whose opinion carries most weight in my life, is it other people’s opinions, my opinion, or God’s opinion that matters most?  Are there areas in my life where I act as if God doesn’t exist?  In what ways have I acknowledged Jesus before others?  In what ways have I disowned Him before others?  Are there steps I need to take in order to take better advantage of God’s purpose for me?

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Questions Jesus Asked # 88

Luke 10:25-29 – On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

     26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    27 He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

     28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

     29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” NIV

Quite often Jesus answered a question with a question because He knew that people’s questions often come with a preferred answer. It’s like your spouse asking, “Does this outfit look good on me?” Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #87

Luke 7:44 – Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.”   NIV

This question is a continuation of Jesus’ dialog with Simon the Pharisee after Simon was visibly upset (offended) that a woman of questionable reputation came into his dining room and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. He seemed offended not only at the woman but at Jesus for allowing her to do such a risqué thing in his house. With the previous question and the follow up story, Jesus attempts to open Simon eyes to the woman’s motive for her actions.  Her motivation seems to be gratitude for God’s forgiveness and mercy.  One might assume that after hearing Jesus, she had made a life changing decision to follow Him and accept God’s love, mercy, and salvation. She was grateful. Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #86

Luke 7:39-43 – When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is — that she is a sinner.”

            40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

            “Tell me, teacher,” he said.

            41 “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

            43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”

            “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. NIV

The occasion for this conversation between Jesus and a Pharisee named Simon was an incident that happened while Jesus was eating dinner at Simon’s house recorded in Luke 7:36-50.  Jesus and his disciples went to Simon’s house and reclined at his table … meaning that they were eating in the customary position of lying (probably on pillows) on their sides with their feet behind them.  A woman who had lived a sinful life in that town came up to Jesus’ feet and washed them with her tears, dried them with her hair, and anointed them with expensive perfume. It was a great display of gratitude, however considered very risqué by Simon when he considered who it was that Jesus let touch Him.  Simon thought that Jesus must not be a prophet or a man of God or He would know the sinfulness and reputation of this woman. Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #43

Matthew 22:11-13 –  “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”  NIV

These verses follow Jesus’ parable comparing the kingdom of heaven to a wedding feast given by the king for his son where the initial invited guests began making excuses to attend. So the king opened the feast to all sorts of people until the wedding hall was filled with guests.  There is a similar parable in Luke 14:16 ff., but it doesn’t end like this one.  In this parable the king comes into the banquet hall and notices that one guest is not properly attired and orders him to be removed from the celebration. This seems odd since the king wanted any and all invited to the feast. So what are the possible explanations? Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #34

Matthew 20:9-16 – “The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

            13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

            16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” NIV

Here is the remainder of the Jesus’ parable and the part that often causes much discussion. It’s the end of the laborer’s day and time to receive pay.  The owner calls them up beginning with the last workers hired. To everyone’s surprise, he pays these last guys hired a full day’s wage which immediately gets the workers hired first thing in the morning thinking that they will be getting a little extra just to be “fair.” To their surprise, the owner pays them a full day’s wage, also. They begin complaining about the “fairness” and “equity” of the situation. It is then that Jesus using the owner’s words asks the questions in the parable. Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked #32

Matthew 19:16-17 – Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

   17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”  NIV

This much commented on encounter with Jesus. The accounts by the different Gospel writers are basically the same but with a slight difference in what “good” modifies.  In Matthew’s account in the earliest texts, good does not modify teacher but seems to be translated good thing.  Luke’s Gospel (18:18) and Mark’s Gospel (10:17) seem to have good modifying teacher.  Luke identifies the man as a ruler, and all three mention that he had great wealth. Continue reading