One of the biggest reasons many Christians don’t enter into the fullness of God’s Word is that they read the Word of God as a spectator.
It is no doubt a fascinating collection of people, stories, miracles and events. . .but it’s much more. It is alive and interactive when we apply it to our lives.
In reading a red-letter edition of the Bible you will find that Jesus asked over 173 questions during His earthly ministry. While I found the number of questions Jesus asked interesting. . .I found why He asked them. . .profound.
God asked questions. . .because He wanted His listeners to think. . .it facilitates the learning process in each of us.
As I was studying this a few days ago, my fine wife, Bev and I agreed to reduce the number of questions to seven. . .for the purpose of this teaching. Seven. . .do you find that an interesting number?
Number one…what do you think?
Without a doubt. . .one of the best learning methods is to ask questions. After all, this technique was utilized by the greatest teacher of all. . .our Lord and Savior.
There are at least four recorded instances where He said to His disciples “what do you think?” He also asked “how think ye”, “won’t he” as well as other word choices to involve the disciples in the parable and to provoke their thinking.
Jesus asked Simon what he thought in Matthew 17:25 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“He answered, Yes. And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him [about it] first, saying, What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly rulers collect duties or tribute—from their own sons or from others not of their own family?”
Jesus not only taught His disciples but He wanted to make sure they understood all the implications of what He was asking.
Matthew 18:12 in the Amplified Bible says:
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray and gets lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and go in search of the one that is lost?”
As Jesus taught Kingdom principles He wanted to make sure His disciples got the full implication and life lessons on what He was sharing.
The teaching style of Jesus was further evidenced in Matthew 21:28 this in the Amplified Bible when He asked:
“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He came to the first and said, Son, go and work today in the vineyard.”
Jesus even used questions to school the Pharisees.
Matthew 22:42 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Saying, What do you think of the Christ? Whose Son is He? They said to Him, The Son of David.”
I believe as we read the Word and pray. . .Jesus wants to reveal what we think. But even more so He wants us to be rich thinkers toward the things of the Kingdom.
One final quote by anonymous who said:
“Don’t waste your time thinking about what other people think of you. . .be yourself.”
Number two. . .why worry, doubt or be afraid?
Jesus asked questions about all three of these subjects. . .worry, doubt and being afraid.
Who of you by worrying can add any more time to his life?
Matthew 6:27 in the New Living Translation says:
"Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
The same thoughts are also expressed in Luke 12:25.
Jesus even asked questions about some of the basic provisions and necessities in life.
For instance, why do you worry about clothes?
Matthew 6:28 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.”
No matter how much you worry. . .where you do it at. . .who you do it with. . .the result is the same. Nothing will change because worry will NEVER solve a problem.
Why are you so afraid?
Matthew 8:26 in the New Living Translation says:
“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”
F.F. Bosworth in his book “Christ the Healer” said that faith and doubt cannot live in the same house. I think the same is true about “fear and faith.”
Consider the questions posed by Jesus on faith and being afraid.
Mark 4:40 in the New Living Translation says:
“Then he asked them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?’”
Either fear or faith will rule your life. . .one or the other. . .but not both.
It’s interesting the phrase “do not be afraid” appears in the Bible exactly 365 times in various translations. One time for every day of the year…perhaps that means there should never be a day in our lives that we worry or fret.
Jesus also asked why we are troubled and why doubts arise in our minds?
Luke 24:38 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And He said to them, Why are you disturbed and troubled, and why do such doubts and questionings arise in your hearts?”
Perhaps it’s time for a little personal reflection. . .on why doubt has such sway in our lives?
Some will blame a dysfunctional family or environment . . .others will blame teachers, former or current employers, circumstances and a variety of other sources.
Charles Spurgeon, the renowned English Pastor who ministered to over 10 million people before radio, television and the internet once said:
"Doubt discovers difficulties which it never solves; it creates hesitancy, despondency, despair. Its progress is the decay of comfort, the death of peace. "Believe!" is the word which speaks life into a man, but doubt nails down his coffin."
It’s very important for each of us to accurately assess why doubt has any part of our thought processes. We simply need to ask the Holy Spirit to identify the doubt and direct us to remove it from our lives.
Why did you doubt?
In Matthew 14:31 Peter is walking on the water but begins to sink:
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
That’s the question. . .each of us need to understand. . .answer. . .and deal with.
Why do we doubt? What can we do to strengthen our faith and believe bigger?
Number three. . .why are you thinking evil thoughts?
Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?
Matthew 9:4 in the New Living Translation says:
“Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts?”
Why are you thinking these things?
Mark 2:8 says:
“And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?”
Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Matthew 9:4 says:
“And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?”
Why are you thinking such things in your heart?
Mark 2:8 in the God’s WORD translation:
“At once, Jesus knew inwardly what they were thinking. He asked them, “Why do you have these thoughts?”
There are ways to overcome evil thoughts and we want to share at least two of them.
One is found in Galatians 5:16:
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
As we pay closer and closer attention to the Spirit of God … the things of this world will not even tempt us because our focus and our goal are on God’s Kingdom.
The second comes from 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 in the Classic Amplified Bible:
“For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
“[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),”
Number four…do you believe I, the Lord, can do this?
Do you believe that I am able to do this?
Matthew 9:28 says:
“And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.”
Where is our faith? What is it based on? The people of the New Testament either saw the Lord’s amazing miracles for themselves, heard about them or saw the results of others being changed.
Luke 8:25 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And He said to them, [Why are you so fearful?] Where is your faith (your trust, your confidence in Me—in My veracity and My integrity)? And they were seized with alarm and profound and reverent dread, and they marveled, saying to one another, Who then is this, that He commands even wind and sea, and they obey Him?”
Today we don’t have the Lord physically walking among us but we have the witness of the Holy Spirit in our own lives or those we come in contact with.
We have the witness in ourselves when we are born again and see how He changes us from the inside out. We also have the witness of those we associate with who can relate to our own experiences because they experience the same or similar things.
Number five…who touched me?
Who touched me?
Luke 8:45 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And Jesus said, Who is it who touched Me? When all were denying it, Peter and those who were with him said, Master, the multitudes surround You and press You on every side!”
Who has touched my clothes?
Mark 5:30 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And Jesus, recognizing in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around immediately in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?”
Jesus was so in tuned with the Father through the Holy Spirit that when He was touched for the purpose of the anointing, He could tell the difference between that and a bump from those crowded around Him.
As we become more in tune with the movement of the Spirit than we are with the temporal or earthly things, we will know who around us is in need of ministry and who is not.
Billy Sunday, the great evangelist, once said:
“The difference between God’s side and the devil’s is the difference between heaven and hell.”
Number six. . .Do you know [understand, comprehend] what I’ve done for you?
Have you never read in the Scriptures?
This is a most profound question… because it emphasizes what I often say. We must know the Scriptures if we want to know what God is speaking to us.
Matthew 21:42 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Jesus asked them, Have you never read in the Scriptures: The very Stone which the builders rejected and threw away has become the Cornerstone; this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?”
Jesus came to the Jew first but because they were so caught up in religion, they failed to see Him even when He performed incredible signs and wonders among them.
This Is a great lesson for the church in every generation because it warns us that even though we can have a godliness about us we can miss the power of the true God.
2 Timothy 3:5 says there is a false godliness that can creep in if we are not staying responsive to the reality of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I command?
Here is another good example of thinking we are tuned into God but Jesus tells us exactly how we are missing it in Luke 6:46 says:
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
Matthew 22:29 in the New Living Translation says:
“Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.”
There is an old saying that I think was born from the Jesus Movement in the 60s when the Lord was doing some miraculous things and people were going from place to place to see … “I don’t follow signs and wonders… signs and wonders follow me.”
That saying, of course, comes from the scripture in Matthew 16:17,18 which says:
“And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages;
“They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well.”
In John 13:12 Jesus asks a profound question when He asks if we know what He has done for us.
John 13:12 says:
“So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?”
Now I want to share the Message Bible translation of John 13:12-17 which says:
“Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.”
The last thing I want. . .when Jesus has loosed His miracle working power in my life. . .is to ask me. . .whether or not I understand what He has done.
Matthew 16:9 says:
“Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
Number Seven….what do you want?
There is one question Jesus asked that appears in seven verses in scripture. It’s the one question He asked more than any other.
What do you want?
I encourage you to think about that question.
If Jesus were to ask you what do you want? How would you respond? Would your request be personal in nature. . .perhaps even self-serving.
Matthew 20:21 in God’s WORD Translation
“What do you want?” he asked her. She said to him, “Promise that one of my sons will sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
Matthew 20:32 in God’s WORD Translation
Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
Jesus wants us to be specific in our requests.
We should follow His model and scriptural admonition to be specific in our prayer requests.
Mark 10:36 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked them.
Jesus asked questions. . .even when the answer was seemingly obvious. I believe his motivation was to stir the faith and expectancy of the person/people He was talking to.
Mark 10:51 in God’s WORD Translation says:
Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Teacher, I want to see again.”
We find another example in Luke 18:39-41 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Lord, I want to see again.”
Jesus gives us numerous examples in scripture that should encourage us to believe that we can have what we ask for.
In John 15:16 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I Am], He may give it to you.”
Are you lacking something? Is it something that will benefit you and others? James 4:2 says… ask …with the right motives.
“You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask.”
And let us end with one final scripture although there are so many more about asking from the Lord. This translation clearly shows the interpretation of the grammar used when it says in Matthew 7:7 in the Classic Amplified Bible:
“Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.”
There is no question that the Lord has opened the door to the fullness of the Word as we stated when we first began this teaching. Now it’s to quit being a spectator and step into His blessings. They are waiting for you to claim.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS