By Leonard Lauriault
Conversation between wife and grandson while going to church recently: Grandson: “Are we there yet?” Wife: “Yes.” Grandson: “No, we’re not!” Wife: If you knew the answer, why’d you ask?” Grandson: No response. I’ve no comment about my wife’s answer to our grandson’s initial question, except that this became a teachable moment.
Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus asked many questions that were designed to teach. He already knew the answers – the correct answers and those that would be given. Of course, as God, he knows everything before it happens (Psalm 139:1-4). This article is about four of Jesus’ questions.
First, in Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus asked his disciples two questions: “Who do people say that I am?” They replied correctly, indicating a misunderstanding among the people about who Jesus was. Then Jesus asked them, “Who do you say that I am?” Again, the correct response was given that he was the Christ (Messiah, Savior), the Son of the living God, indicating a proper understanding among the disciples about who he was. Jesus told them that he’d build his church on the fact that he’s God’s Son, but they weren’t to tell anyone he was the Christ until later, which Peter on the Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection when he told his audience that Jesus was both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:1-36).
Jesus also asked a question in response to a question posed to him as we learn from Matthew 21:23-37. When his authority was question by the Jewish leaders, instead of answering their question, he asked them the source of (authority for) John’s baptism, which really put them on the spot they were trying to him on). They might not actually have known the source of John’s baptism, but Jesus did and, as the Son of the living God, he ratified John’s baptism as appropriate under the old covenant by submitting to it to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:13-17; Acts 18:24 to 19:6).
Jesus had already demonstrated his authority to teach, heal, and forgive through his miracles (John 10:37-39; Matthew 9:1-8). This authority led the people and his disciples to “say” who he was, although the people were incorrect.
Another question Jesus asked, rhetorically, was, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say (Luke 6:46-39; Matthew 7:21-29).” No response is recorded in scripture, possibly because his hearers knew they were without excuse.
Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-16). Everyone will acknowledge that he is Lord either now, through our Christian life, or at the judgment (Philippians 2:5-13; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10). While many Christian-based religious groups claim to accept Jesus’ Lordship, many will answer for not correctly practicing what he commanded either directly or through his inspired writers, although they’ll be without excuse (Acts 2:37-41; 20:26-27; Galatians 1:6-9).
We can all know the truth and have confidence before God about our salvation if we’ve obeyed all Jesus’ commands (John 8:31-32; 14:15-21; 1 John 5:1-13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2:15).
Is Jesus YOUR Lord?
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org