March 26, 2012

Mark 12:28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Reading this verse, I went to the verses ahead of it to see what the previous debate had been about, and found that Jesus had thoroughly countered the Sadducees’ position that there is no resurrection of the dead. That means that this teacher of the Law was a Pharisee. We tend to think the Pharisees were the “bad guys,” but theologically, they were the best of the bunch back then. Since Jesus was so spot-on about resurrection, this man wanted to see if He could come up with a good answer to another fundamental question. It is clear from what followed that he wasn’t wanting to discredit Jesus, and Jesus in turn gave him some pretty high praise. (verse 34) Christians should never fear honest questions. As Peter said, we should “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15) That means getting into the Word and becoming really familiar with it, and it also means staying in fellowship with the Holy Spirit so that He will have no trouble prompting us with the answers we need to give. (Matthew 10:19-20) Tolerating no questions is a sign of insecurity, as well as immaturity. It is true that many questions are insincere, and we need God’s wisdom for dealing with those, too, but even there we shouldn’t be afraid, but rest secure in Christ.

I certainly get my share of questions! I need to give the answers God gives me, but I also must not be afraid to say I don’t know the answer to some things. After all, I must never lie. Sometimes God will use a question someone asks me to draw me closer to Himself to discover more about Him. That’s never a bad thing! I have experienced many times learning things from the answers God speaks through my mouth. They aren’t true because I said them, (that’s self-delusional hubris) but are true in spite of the fact that I said them! A mind that has ceased asking questions is essentially dead. Demanding answers for everything isn’t a good idea either; I need to accept that God’s smart and I’m not, but I need to keep pressing in for more of Him, and allow Him to use me to draw others closer to Him as well.

Father, thank You for the truly good day yesterday. Thank You for each person who came to the service, and for all You did in it. Thank You for how You are indeed continuing to grow us, individually and as a body, as I keep praying. May we not draw back from any of that growth, but rejoice to be and do all that You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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