Tag: Questions Jesus Asked

67. Will He really find faith on the earth?

Luke 18:8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Read: Luke 18:1-8

Setting:

extended answer to the Pharisees’ question, “he was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come.”

speaks 4x of “day(s) of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:22, 24, 26, 30), then asks “when the Son of Man comes”

Pharisees (and Twelve) looking for future kingdom, Jesus responded, “the kingdom of God is among you”; then declares He will come but first… (17:25, 18:7)

Timeline: Incarnation => kingdom begins => suffering and rejection => delay (“he bears long”) => Son of Man comes

Person(s) being questioned:

same as previous question – teaching the Twelve

because we’re still here, has relevance for us… and all generations between Twelve and The End

Question behind the question:

what condition will the church be in – how large, how much vitality, how faithful to truth?

what does that mean for the future of the church now?

what will world around the church look like as end approaches?

and what does that mean for your view of end times?

Expected response:

of course! …maybe …we hope so …at least in our neighborhood / town / country

from the really zealous ones: of course, never in doubt

Jesus’ point:

probably not a rhetorical question with obvious “yes” answer – asked in order to provoke thought, watchfulness

Jesus certainly knew the answer – strong implication: will be hard to find, comparative to previous examples

Jesus gave 2 examples, Noah and Lot – described the culture that resulted in destruction by God, applies to time when he will return: “just as it was… so it will be”

est. population @ Flood – 750 mil. to 4 bil.; ones found righteous only a miniscule percentage of total, same true at Sodom – small enough a visitor “from away” would be unlikely to stumble on the righteous

objective (righteous) outsider would affirm God’s justice in sending Flood, fire and brimstone – same conditions / same evaluation at the end

 Modern Application: 

that Jesus would ask that kind of question (esp. given the context) tells a lot about what to expect for overall trends in culture and church

“Triumph of the spiritual kingdom of God in the midst of the rise of evil in opposition to Christ and His kingdom” – will achieve triumph in that all the elect will be saved in spite of Satan’s opposition

picture Jesus gives is one in which righteousness declines in proportion to evil advancing; at the same time, church has advanced to blanket the globe to fulfill Rev. 5:9 

need for prayer and watchfulness is evident – need to keep focused on the right things: God, his character, his word / promises

conventional wisdom says Jesus was a failure – only 120 after 3 years, deserted by “closest” friend, died as a criminal – not hard to reach similar conclusion about the church esp. if consider true church (far smaller than professed church)

So which view of the end?

Luke 17:21 “For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” plus others (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; Mark 1:15) seems to eliminate various premillennial views

Luke 17:26-29; 18:8 and Matt. 24:37-38 describing cultural conditions seems to eliminate postmillennial view, Golden Age

leaves amillennial view or a variant of it as the most consistent with Jesus’ teaching, further elaborated by NT

66. Shall God not avenge His own elect?

Luke 18:7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?

Read: Luke 18:1-8 

 

Setting:

larger conversation essential to understanding the big point

key to the door in 18:1, chapter division in an awkward place

big picture from 17:20-18:8, envelope structure – see beginning and ending verse of passage

 

Person(s) being questioned:

“them” – refers back to “the disciples” in 17:22, so the question is directed to the Twelve

probably one of the examples Jesus used that fortified the Twelve’s confidence, resulted in writings like 2 Peter 3

NOTE: Jesus’ target audience broadens out again in 18:9

Question behind the question:

form of logical argumentation: argumentum a minore ad maius – argument from the lesser to the greater – since this is true about the unjust judge (lesser), it must be even more true about God (greater)

if a self-centered (absorbed) man responds eventually to importunity of someone who means nothing to him, will not God respond to the prayers (importunity) of his people that he loves

if unjust man will go contrary to character and give justice, will not a just God give his people justice?

don’t forget the larger context:

in order for God’s people (his own elect) to be given full justice, requires “the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (17:30); “when the Son of Man comes” (18:8)

do you not see the connection between the continual prayers of the elect and the coming of the Son of Man?

and how does Jesus’ summary question connect with the rest of what he just said?

Expected response:

if he expected response from the Twelve to the question as asked, Jesus answered it anyway in verse 8

probably no argument from the Twelve on Jesus’ initial point – wouldn’t still be following Jesus if they didn’t believe God answered prayer

would not have been as clear on need for a Second coming – were still trying to figure out the First coming, Messiah’s role and ministry in it

in some ways had Messiah’s two comings reversed in their thinking – would judge their enemies first, then get them ready for the kingdom

Jesus’ point:

desire for quick gratification not new – Jews had been waiting hundreds of years for Messiah, wanted results quickly like in their lifetimes

Jesus knew God’s plan was different, would require patient persevering waiting… maybe even for many more generations than had waited already

promised to “avenge them speedily” – ταχει (τάχος), yes, what you think it would be – doesn’t mean it will happen soon

think of it this way: how long do you wait for the judge to appear? then how long do you stand before the judge? – once process actually starts, will be completed speedily

Jesus looking for two results in the Twelve: (1) diligent persistent prayer for God to give justice to his people (see Rev. 6:9-11) and (2) unwavering faith that God keeps his promises and hears and answers prayer

Modern Application:

keep praying – for God to vindicate his elect, display his glory, keep his promises

don’t lose the faith, the kind that prays importunately and confidently and backed by life of godly action

65. Where are the nine?

 Luke 17:17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?

Read: Luke 17:11-19

 

Setting:

near the “border” between Galilee and Samaria, an unspecified village probably on the Galileean side

still accompanied by the Twelve, perhaps dwindling crowd as they approached Samaria

ten men… at considerable distance from the road… probably crying out “unclean, unclean” continually (Lev. 13:45-46)

leprosy: probably range of conditions, all contagious/easily spread through contact, no known treatment or cure; incl. Hansen’s disease, elephantiasis, toxic mold

this not a parable, is real life and Jesus showing compassion on the needy… without regard for boundaries – cultural, spiritual, physical

 

Person(s) being questioned:

sent to the priests, legal/ceremonial requirement necessary for entry back into society – “as they went, they were cleansed”, 9 kept going, 1 returned to Jesus

kind of a setup for the reader the way Luke told it: one did right thing, came back praising God and thanking Jesus; btw, was a Samaritan!

 

Question behind the question:

Have they no manners?

Do the others not recognize a miracle?

Have they no respect for God?

 

Expected response:

answers to questions as asked were obvious

Jesus probably didn’t expect any answer from the one who returned

if (big question mark) the nine were still within earshot, question might startle into a proper response

 

Jesus’ point:

the group recognized Jesus (v.13), believed him to be source of help, asked Jesus to heal them – he did, they showed no gratitude

all ten received affirmative answer to their request (v.14) – God’s positive action not contingent on a proper response

he didn’t wait for them to thank him before he healed them, he didn’t take away their healing when they failed to thank him

“insiders” don’t always do it right, “outsiders” can do it right – Jews took miracle for granted, Samaritan gave God proper glory and thanks

the one who responds to God’s intervention with praise and thanksgiving receives additional blessing – “Your faith has made you well.” – ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε

statement made after the fact, not at time of healing – were cleansed while they went, this one then changed course

could simply mean he was delivered from his affliction; more likely meant he was delivered from his sin because of his faith

 

Modern Application: 

answer to prayer should prompt thankfulness, recognition that was God who answered, giving him glory ASAP

not unreasonable to expect God to reward thankfulness and praise with further blessing, even spiritual blessing when request was for some other kind of help

64. Who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Luke 16:11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Read: Luke 16:1-13

 

Setting:

still on the road to Jerusalem with the crowds

singles out the disciples for particular attention

Person(s) being questioned:

question primarily for the Twelve but all within earshot could profit from hearing/thinking/answering

applies on some level to anyone who can “hear” with understanding

 

Question behind the question:

several “layers” of significance to the story/parable, summary questions, Jesus’ conclusion: personal responsibility, faithfulness, loyalty, value of spiritual vs. temporal, living in the moment while planning for the future

If you do not take responsibility with temporal things, why should you be trusted with more important things?

If you are not faithful in one part of life, how can you be expected to be faithful in other parts of life?

If you are content to live for the moment, what hope do you have for the future?

 

Expected response:

not necessarily a question that required spoken response – more important to give sufficient thought to what Jesus was getting at

Pharisees thought they knew the answers… and that Jesus was wrong – believed they figured out how to have God and stuff

 

Jesus’ point:

property manager in the story makes several of Jesus’ points – was not responsible with either his or master’s stuff, why he had to scramble

pink slip changed his relationship with stuff: he became master of it, using it to purchase a commendable outcome

1. need to be acting responsibly (demonstrating faithfulness) in all areas of life if we expect God to entrust us with more/greater spiritual treasure

2. first loyalty must be to the right thing, all other things should serve the first thing

3. are some things God’s people can learn from “the sons of the world” – need to keep the good points, discard the rest

 

Modern Application: 

be sure are taking responsibility seriously for what has been entrusted, whether temporal or spiritual things, acting/living faithfully across the board

loyalty must be to God first, “mammon” must then serve our service to God – making us more useful, gaining advantages for the Gospel

need a “plan” for when the “mammon” runs out – using/managing resources most wisely in the moment so that they are producing results in next life

be sure are doing our part/best we can to live in such a way that God willingly entrusts greater spiritual treasure to us for our use

63. Which of you does not sit down first and count the cost?

63. Which of you does not sit down first and count the cost?

Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.

Read: Luke 14:25-33

Setting:

see Luke 13:22, 33; 14:1, 15 

And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.  …”Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem. …Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. …Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

still “moving” toward Jerusalem, in a Pharisee leader’s home for a meal on the Sabbath; next day perhaps continues journey

still followed by large numbers of people including the Twelve

Person(s) being questioned:

addresses the crowds of people – appropriate since his question relates to the cost of discipleship

the Twelve have had 3 years experience beginning to learn what following Jesus means, could relate to what Jesus was asking

Question behind the question: 

“Have you counted the cost of following Me?”

“Have you committed to following me whatever the cost?”

this section begins with an if…then: “If anyone comes to Me and does not…. he cannot be My disciple.” “whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” and “whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (v.27,33)

Expected response:

to original question: even full spectrum cross-cultural multitude could easily relate to building project or military engagement – only a fool worthy of ridicule would be that irresponsible, duh, of course

to questions behind the question, would be range of replies: “huh? what do you mean?”; “maybe, let me think about it”; perhaps more definite either positive or negative

Jesus’ point:

hundreds, maybe thousands in crowds “following” Jesus… for different reasons, …with different levels of commitment – some fully committed to following him (11 of the Twelve), some equally committed to destroying him, most in between

for Jesus to consider you his disciple, certain things must be true… for longer than the moment of conversion, …or just the first few days/weeks/months

is definite cost associated with being a disciple – relationships, loyalties, comforts, possessions, earnings, liberties, life

context helps describe / define Jesus’ meaning when he says “hate”; see also Matt. 10:34-39; compare Matt. 10:39, 16:25 and John 12:25 

even though Jesus may not require us to sacrifice absolutely everything for his sake, he does want us to love him enough to do so if he asked

Modern Application: 

need to do regular check-ups: how do priorities line up – things can change position in the list over time, assume a greater level of importance

when sharing the Gospel with others, also in discipleship settings, set the bar where Jesus did – avoid temptation to minimize, accommodate, make it easier to accept

must be careful in contextualizing that we contextualize the presentation and not the Gospel itself

“contextualization is the word we use for the process of making the gospel and the church as much at home as possible in a given cultural context.”  Zane Pratt; https://www.9marks.org/article/four-biblical-foundations-for-contextualization/

see Gal. 3:28, re: Messianic Jews, cultural Muslims e.g. – tweak this or that detail, you can keep the rest

same is true in Bible translation – must maintain fidelity to God’s word as delivered; question should not be “how well is it received” but “how well is it understood”

“The confusion is due to Jesus’ use of a Semitic idiom. To love one person more than another is described in OT language as “loving one and hating another” (cf. Gen 29:30-31, RSV). In contrast to Luke’s “word-for-word” translation of Jesus’ words. Matthew gave a “thought-for-thought” translation in Matt 10:37. revealing that Jesus’ demand is for his followers to love/obey him more than anyone else, even their own families. Being Jesus’ disciple entails primary allegiance to Jesus.” David Dockery

62. Why do you not judge what is right?

Luke 12:57 “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?

Read: Luke 12:54-59

 

Setting:

on the road to Jerusalem

 

Person(s) being questioned:

those within hearing of the crowd gathered outside the Pharisees home who were following Jesus

not directed toward the Twelve, however was profitable for them to hear / understand Jesus’ teaching and point

Question behind the question:

Where is the disconnect between understanding basics of the weather and basics of right and wrong?

Why are you not skilled in interpreting Bible basics?

If you really are the people of God, why do you not understand spiritual things?

 

Expected response:

Given predominant attitude of “his own”, the Jewish people, probably blank looks, maybe “huh? what do you mean?”

that Jesus needed to ask the question indicates they mostly had no clue about the answer

other response: a defensive one, claiming they understood all those things and Jesus misjudged them

 

Jesus’ point:

there was enough evidence when interpreted in light of Scripture even without Jesus’ teaching for them to recognize God was up to something – continued failure to acknowledge who he was at some point becomes willful rejection of the evidence

they had basic intelligence enough to understand and apply natural revelation (the weather), lacked understanding of special revelation, in some cases refused to follow the data

Jesus’ question if truly heard should shock out of complacency – just because someone has understanding in some areas doesn’t make them expert in all kinds of things

were able to recognize imminent changes in weather, should be alert and prepared for other changes – iow, prepare to meet the judge while there is time

 

Modern Application: 

they had the Bible, the evidence, the best teacher and still didn’t connect the dots – same thing continues daily among every kind of people

yet Jesus still challenged their unseeing unbelief, warned them window of opportunity would not remain open indefinitely

keep in mind:

some are not actively hostile, they are simply deaf and blind to spiritual truth

some are purposely resistant to spiritual truth – do not want to hear it, try to explain it away, refuse to acknowledge it

requires prayer on our part, work of the Holy Spirit to change their responsiveness to truth

and… truth / warnings we speak have their place – God will use according to his purpose, perhaps to bring about conversion and remind / instruct after conversion

 

Note: The ‘magistrate’ is the court official who introduces the case, the ‘judge’ is the one officially appointed to give the verdict, ‘the officer’ is the gaoler who seals their fate. Pett

61. Why are you anxious for the rest?

Luke 12:26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?

Read: Luke 12:22-31; Matthew 6:25-34

 

Setting: finished addressing the multitude (and the “heckler”)

focuses attention on the Twelve – crunch time leading up to betrayal and death

Jesus dividing attention between immediate followers and the crowd: v.22, 32, 41, 54

another example of Jesus giving similar teaching in different places/times – here reinforcing practical principles disciples would need to remember

Person(s) being questioned:

directed primarily to the Twelve, certainly food for thought for anyone listening

crowds still present – Luke 12:1, 13 and 54 but not Jesus’ immediate concern

Question behind the question:

question of source – where do things of life come from?

question of sovereignty – who is really in charge?

question of trust / belief – do you believe God, his promises? can he be trusted to take care of you?

Expected response:

typical response to question as asked: “I dunno, it’s just the way I am”

how about an “honest response” – I want to be in charge; I have to look out for #1; it takes conscious effort to trust

graphic: “As long as everything is exactly how I want it, I am totally flexible”

Jesus’ point:

practical question with significant theological freight – if you can’t change little things, does it make sense to fret over big things

if Jesus’ implied conclusion is correct (you are not able to do the least), is foolish waste of time to worry

but then, if you are anxious/worrying, what does that say about the other deeper issues?

Modern Application: 

need to be constantly alert to guard against outside influences: pressure from people / media / marketing to trust in what is not God

does not mean: do nothing, sit back with hand out waiting to be filled – does mean: carry out vocation and responsibilities to best of ability, trust God for the results

“And here you learn what it means to serve mammon, namely, to care for life and our body, what we are to eat and drink, to have about us and to put on; that is, to think only of this life, how we may become rich here, may gather and heap up money and property, as if we were to remain here forever.” Luther, Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount