Beacon Deacon Home
The Beacon Deacon Web Site

Online since 1996.





 
 
Jamie Johnson
3 January 2016

Questions

NOTE: This is a written version of the message I delivered on January 3, 2016.

There are questions in life. There are questions in the Bible. There are questions from God to man, man to God and man to man. If we look at the questions in Scripture, we find answers, even in the questions themselves.

The Bible opens with Creation in Genesis 1:1. God placed mankind in the Garden and said to Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:16-17 (NASB) the following:

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

However, one of the first recorded questions challenged God's statement. The serpent questioned God's words as he approached Eve in Genesis 3:1b (NASB):

And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" This was a question of deceit and lying against the truth of God's Word.

The serpent questioned God's very Word and he still does so today. Further, he said in verse 4, "You shall not surely die!" I have a question: Did Adam and Eve eat from the tree? Yes. Did they die as God said they would? Yes. Satan is the liar. Yet, mankind fell into his deceptive schemes.

After man fell, God called to Adam: "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:9). Another question: Did God know where they were? Yes. However, the relationship had changed. Adam and Eve had sinned and made covering for themselves and hid. This was a question offering opportunity for honesty and confession out of the shame and blame Adam and Eve fell into. The curse had taken effect. It would be passed on to the next generation. After all, God asked their son Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" (Genesis 4:9) after Cain had murdered his brother in anger. And Cain lied to God, saying he did not know where Abel was. It was another opportunity for honesty and confession, but instead involved lying and hiding the truth. And the curse has continued through the generations and continues with us.

Yet, God had a plan. Eventually, Abram arrived on the scene. He would be renamed to Abraham and the Promise would come through his son Isaac. In Genesis 18, we see Abraham inquiring of God in regards to Sodom asking if God would spare the city if 50 righteous be found there and God said if He found 50 righteous ones, He would spare the city. Abraham then asked about 45, 30, 20 and 10. These are questions of mercy and God is merciful. However, we know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. God's judgment ensued. However, consider this question: What if there was One righteous? Would God spare men from His wrath? Would God be merciful? What do you say? The fact is there was One who was perfectly righteous -- Jesus Christ -- and God has spared multitudes who were not righteous on account of Him. We know in hindsight that after Abraham, Mercy would come in fullness in Jesus Christ.

And Mercy came as a little Baby in the manger. Later, Magi from the east were looking for Him to worship Him. They had a question as well in Matthew 2:2 (NASB): "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." And I have a follow-up question: Are you looking for Jesus to worship Him during your day-to-day activities? If you are in Christ, you are a temple of the Holy Spirit according to 1 Corinthians 6:19. The Holy Spirit dwells in Christian believers. You can worship Christ where you are, whatever place and whatever circumstance.

The world, flesh and devil, however, wage war against such worship of Christ, offering selfishness and distractions and temptations instead, promising to fill the individual, but upon deceit, actually consuming the individual making him or her a slave. The world, flesh and devil want you to despise and reject Jesus just as He was despised and rejected by His own. He went to his hometown and taught in the synagogue there and was rejected in Matthew 13:54-58 (NASB):

He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household." And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.

They questioned Jesus and took offense at Him. This resulted in rebuke, unbelief and missing out on miracles. It's okay to wonder and explore, yes even to doubt at times as faith and doubt are twins as Philip Yancey put it. However, are you questioning Jesus and missing out on what He has for you? He came to His hometown and was rejected. John 7:5 (NASB) says, "For not even His brothers were believing in Him."

Yet Jesus did as His Father asked in spite of those who questioned Him and His ministry. And Jesus Himself used many questions in His ministry:

If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (Matthew 5:47, NASB)
And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:27, NASB)
Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands? (Luke 10:36, NASB)
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36, NASB)

And others. Jesus came as a sacrifice. And it was not just on the cross, but in His ministry leading to the cross.

Pilate questioned Jesus' kingship. Pilate literally questioned Jesus in Matthew 27:11 (NASB):

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And Jesus said to him, "It is as you say."

Jesus gave Pilate one of His clearest answers to a question and Pilate failed to apply it. Sometimes, we get the right answers about what God wants us to know in regards to our questions and we fail to apply them. Pilate failed. Instead of looking to God, he looked to man. Specifically, he turned to the Jews and asked them a question in Matthew 27:22 (NASB):

Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said, "Crucify Him!"

Jesus came to the Jews -- His own -- and what happened? They yelled for Him to be crucified! Isaiah 53:1-5 (NASB) prophesied the following about Jesus:

Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

This was a prophecy of Jesus' crucifixion on your behalf centuries before it occurred. Do you trust what He has done for you? Do you know Him? Do you know who Jesus is? Let's look back at a question in Exodus 3:10-14 (NASB) where Moses encounters God speaking in the burning bush:

"Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt." But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?" And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain."

Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

Moses looked to himself and questioned God's call to mission. God pointed Moses back to God and answerered with His glorious Name: "I AM." The Hebrew is Yahweh where we get the Latinized Jehovah. That Name is the all-capitalized LORD in Scripture. That Name shows God is outside of time and history and is sovereign and that He is enough for anyone, even Moses, even you, to accomplish His will.

In John 8:57-58 (NASB), Jesus was questioned and Jesus gives a profound answer to the question:

So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."

Jesus is Lord. Jesus is the Great I AM. Jesus is God. Colossians 1:15-20 (NASB) expounds on this glorious fact in speaking of Jesus:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

The questions have been asked. The questions have been answered. Is the Holy Spirit opening your eyes to understand? Jesus asked in Matthew 16:15 (NASB): "But you who do you say I am?" What is your answer? Peter answered in verse 16: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God?" Is that your answer? Are you trusting in the Christ, the Son of the living God and His perfect sacrifice on the cross in your place? The serpent questioned in the garden and enslaved man with a lie. Man has questioned through the ages. Yet, God in His mercy asked questions and answered them in Christ. Jesus asked, "Who do you say that I am?" There are many questions, but that is the question of the age.



Top of Page

Ichthus Library: Personal Works

Beacon Deacon Home