Today we go interactive in a discourse with the King. King Jesus speaks through asking questions. And all His subjects are required to answer.
Why? Questions demand answers. Often He gives us the answers to His tough questions. The questions are often the answers themselves. Let us read at random five pertinent questions as the watchman opened the Bible and in no particular sequence here below and meditate on them. Jesus puts significance on the interactive requirement of His words, for His audience to think— search our intellect and emotion, expose the real hidden motives and attitudes behind our thought, respond, —and give an account to them, eventually having no choice but to agree with Jesus that He is right about the matter. (Bible verses are quoted from NIV and the boldness/italics of some words/phrases are added.)
Question 1: The following question is for those familiar with the story of the human Jesus. “Why do you still think Jesus is an ordinary good and clever man but continue to ignore or not to believe His true status as the Son of God?”
The twelve years old Jesus questioned Mary and Joseph who thought he was lost like any ordinary boy in a big city on their way home. They returned to Jerusalem and spent three days looking for Him and finally arrived at the temple courts and found Him sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. He was giving answers to His questions. Everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding and His answers.
Luke 2:49 Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in My Father’s house?
The Bible did not record their answer if any to Jesus. They were astonished and stunned. Why do we look for Jesus away from God’s place? Where is God’s house? Do we know where it is? Is it far from us? Do we turn around from wherever we are going and return to look for Jesus? How shall we answer to Jesus if he asks these questions?
Question 2: This question addresses unbelieving spectators. “Why do you like to see the signs and miracles but do not want to believe that Jesus is the Son of God?”
Jesus said to a paralyzed man that his sins are forgiven and the Pharisees and teachers of the law began to feel offended and questioned in their heart the authority and credibility of Jesus to forgive sins because they knew and believed that only God could forgive sins. Jesus knew their thoughts. So He asked this following seemingly simple question.
Luke 5:22–23 “Why do you think these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’
In this instance too the Bible did not record any reply. Jesus went on to heal the man of his paralysis. Jesus performed the miracle to show and challenge the critics and skeptics this truth: Jesus is God. “Now that you have seen I can do what only God can do, are you not going to acknowledge that I am God?” —an unspoken question knocking on the doors of those hearts harden by religious jealousy and other worldly personal agenda). The same question is knocking on hearts today when we read of Jesus, clear and plain, though unspoken. How shall we respond? The question addresses the priority of a church. What is your real motive when you impose strict observance of your tradition and rules to the extent that you forego the original divine principle and purpose of the goodness of God behind the Law governing His elect people?
Jesus has shown us the supreme and divine-commissioned principle of God: to do Good (including healing, setting free from bondages and sufferings, and restoring the wholeness of a human) and Save Lives (from eternal damnation).
Question 3: In this account, Jesus addresses the heart matter. Why are your hearts so harden that you just do not want to see the goodness of God towards others?
He was teaching in a synagogue on Sabbath day and a man was there with a shriveled right hand. Obviously Jesus was expected to heal him. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were there to look for a reason to accuse Jesus of not following the Law of Moses and disqualify him as a teacher. The real question was they were they sincere in following the law themselves? Do they really care the true purpose of the law? Thus Jesus asked as follows:
Luke 6:9 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?”
The Law of God given through Moses is meant for the good of all people under its governance, and intends to save and preserve lives from destruction. But a person’s obsession with fulfilling self-agenda (often driven by the love of physical pleasure—derived from the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17)— often diverts his attention from looking at the goodness of God to looking for excuses to accuse, manipulate and control other fellow human beings. The ‘religious’ hypocrites could not comply with the Law. They could not practice what they preached. (Matthew 23:3).
Jesus saw through the unholy-ungodly motives of these ‘religious’ hypocrites. No one could answer or challenge His question and they did not bother anyway. They were furious and jealous when Jesus showed that He could not be intimidated to obey mere mortal man. They began to scheme against Jesus because Jesus healed the sick man and demonstrated the goodness and greatness of God’s heart.
Jesus declared that anyone who has seen Him has seen the Father (God). (John 14:9) He equated His miraculous healing with doing good and saving people. Jesus is perfect and merciful because God is perfect and merciful. (Luke 6:36; Matthew 5:48; Matthew 5:17-20) The Law is holy, righteous, good and spiritual. Jesus has taught us how to serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:6, 12, 14)
Question 4: Jesus challenges the blindness—the critical and judgmental perspective— of Christian (Pharisees and teachers of the Jewish laws). “Don’t you know you are blind?”
Again the questions are meant to be answered in the hearts. See clearly first. When you cannot see, you see a distorted picture of another Christian. The dust (problem) is not in your brother’s eye. You have a huge hindrance blocking your heart to see accurately and according to how God really see other Christians. Learn to know, obey and apply God’s words on yourself to see the unseen first. Don’t keep focusing on the physical and soul part (the mind, the emotion). You proclaim the wrong words because you have parked yourself in the wrong kingdom, even using the words of God according to the value and interpretation of the flesh (world) and not led by the Spirit of Christ. No one can really see clearly or accurately without being guided by the Holy Spirit. Sons of God are led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lifts us up to a higher ground and see from the eyes of God. The words of God are the Sword of the Spirit. They cannot be used unless you are walking by the Spirit and not by flesh. (1 Corinthians 2; Ephesian 6:12-18)
Luke 6:41 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to you brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Question 5: After challenging their blindness, Jesus challenges their deafness. “Why do you continue to talk idle words when you cannot hear what I say in the first place?”
Jesus equates hearing with doing. After hearing what Jesus says we need to digest, allow the words to transform us by the renewal of our mind, so that we do not continue to follow the world and its way, but know what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God, then we can act on the words with integrity appropriately and truthfully. (Romans 12:1-2) Our actions include both our words and our deeds. How do we know whether the two synchronize? Jesus has given us the guideline: Look at the fruits. We will do the works of Jesus and even greater things because of the Holy Spirit in us who believe. (John 14:12, 21; 15:4, 7-8; Mark 16:15-20; Matthew 28:18-20)
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
Look at the context of this question: Only good trees bear good fruits. Good fruits include what come out through our mouths (the words we speak) from our hearts (the thoughts we harbor). (Luke 6:43-45) Only a solid foundation keeps the building standing. Jesus has told us what makes a foundation solid:
“As for everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and put them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” (Luke 6:47-48)