Tag: Questions Jesus Asked

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

60. Who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?

Luke 12:14 But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?”

Read: Luke 12:13-21

 

Setting:

after the meal, likely outside the home – Jesus surrounded immediately by his disciples, then huge crowd perhaps numbering in thousands

μυριαδων – myriads; numberless, 10,000 when used as a number, certainly far outnumbering those gathered for lunch

attempting to continue instruction of the Twelve – little in Jesus’ view between him and the Cross… and not much time

“random” person from the crowd (perhaps with brother standing beside him) yells out for Jesus to intervene in  a family squabble

easy to think plaintiff trying to manipulate / take advantage of situation to get desired result – hoping for quick response in his favor to avoid major scene

Person(s) being questioned:

the one who accosted Jesus

 

Question behind the question:

what in the world made you think I would give your complaint a hearing?

how can you expect true justice when you approach the situation this way?

haven’t you been listening? what do you think my purpose / role is here?

 

Expected response:

Jesus’ response to man’s demand more a rebuke than question expecting an answer

Jesus’ question seems to be quickly followed by stern warning against greed directed to “them” – the man and his brother? the crowd?

seems Jesus intended to put the fellow in his place and use as a teachable moment for everyone within earshot

 

Jesus’ point:

possessions, regardless of any kind of value they may have, are not of ultimate importance

possessions do not define a person’s identity, are not the measure of a person’s worth

desire for possessions sneaks up on you, hence the warning “be on guard”

and btw, don’t try to manipulate Jesus for your own advantage :-)

 

Modern Application:

Jesus’ points no less applicable today in our materialistic culture

having right response to people like the “one from the crowd” is essential

can begin with the conclusion of the parable: when you die “whose will those things be which you have provided?”

important for Christ-followers to not act like the “Fool… who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

 

59. Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?

Luke 11:40 Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?

Read: Luke 11:37-44; see also Matt. 23:13-36 

 

Setting:

continuing on his way to Jerusalem, perhaps near Bethany

an unnamed Pharisee invites Jesus to dinner, Jesus accepts but… Jesus does not follow the rules, host is shocked at Jesus’ behavior

was not a one-on-one situation like Zacchaeus, were others present at the meal – see v.45, “one of the lawyers…”

also, Jesus’ remarks are addressed to a group: “you Pharisees”, “inward part of you”, “foolish ones” all plural

Person(s) being questioned:

primarily directed at the Pharisees present, included the host but probably not limited to him

at least by what Jesus said in his follow-up remarks, scribes/lawyers present felt like they were also included, see v.45

scribes vs Pharisees: occupation vs. denomination – scribes interpreted and taught the Torah to the people, might have been either Pharisee or Sadducee

Question behind the question:

Are the distinctions you make proper? ones God would agree with?

Are the priorities you set in the same order as God would set them?

Do you really think God’s expectations stop with external purity laws?

perhaps, Do you really think it is possible to reach your desired goal in this way?

Expected response:

a rhetorical question, one that did not expect or require a stated answer, since it was obvious

 

Jesus’ point:

God views people holistically, expects the same standard to apply across the board – external / internal; mind / heart / hands

to make radical distinctions Pharisees and scribes did was not consistent with God’s perspective – God distinguishes between internal and external but does not divide them

to make external conformity to ritual the highest goal not consistent with God’s prioritizing – according to God and experience, outside follows inside

remember greatest commandment: love God with heart, soul, mind, strength – 3 out of 4 have to do with the inside of the cup, only 1 with outside

NOTE: purity requirements intended by God to (primarily) make clear that he expects whole person to be pure, a standard unachievable w/o his help

Modern Application: 

is not an either/or situation – are not to focus on either physical or spiritual to exclusion of the other – must be attentive to both… in right order

cannot expect performance / outward behavior to please God if spiritual life is not being properly nurtured

also cannot be like Pharisees, thinking that if we meet some sort of religious performance goals, are free to ignore spiritual/biblical principles the rest of the time

58. So which of these three do you think was neighbor?

Luke 10:36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

Read: Luke 10:29-37

 Setting:

same as for the previous question – on the way to Jerusalem

Person(s) being questioned:

expert in the law who asked “ what shall I do to inherit eternal life” followed by “who is my neighbor?”

Jesus responded to lawyer’s question with story about the Good Samaritan

woman in Novosibirsk, RAV4 hit twice by lightning, recorded on dash cam; “‘The car didn’t catch fire and just made an emergency stop,’ she said. ‘We thought that people were just scared and that was all.’ Perhaps from shock, Galina did not stop – nor did anyone else – to help the stricken driver and her passengers. Later Anna posted: ‘I was the driver. Everything is fine with me and the passengers. I read the comments and I can say one thing, there were a lot of eyewitnesses, but no-one stopped. They all just went on. We called a rescue truck to take away the car.'”

Question behind the question:

what must you do to be a loving neighbor?

who must you love to satisfy God’s command?

Expected response:

the story / parable was a set-up for the lawyer… and everyone else

the right answer is obvious, and the lawyer answered correctly but indirectly – Jesus identified him by his place of origin, the lawyer by his action

indirect though it was, he knew and everyone else knew he publicly admitted the Samaritan fit God’s expectations for a neighbor

don’t forget, neighbor is not an exclusive one-sided relationship – works in both directions: you are neighbor to the one who is neighbor to you

Jesus’ point:

let’s get beyond theoretical what-if’s and address specifics

let’s get from the letter of the law to the heart of the matter

NOTE: Jesus and the lawyer connect action to heart condition – “a certain Samaritan …had compassion”;  “He who showed mercy on him.”

and… the lawyer was looking for list of permitted exclusions, Jesus indicated inclusions based on opportunity

Modern Application:

loving neighbor more an approach to life than response in given setting – requires several things:

attentiveness to others – observing people, reading body language, thinking ahead to anticipate need

recognizing that a person is in need, seeking to identify particular need, discerning best solution for their need

determining if we have available resources to meet the need …and/or if we know who does

using what we have for the good/relief/assistance of others – iow, showing mercy from a compassionate heart