Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Questions Jesus Asks

One of my favorite versus of scripture is Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."   Christianity Today lists this verse as one of the "Most Shared Verses" shared through social media and e-mail - #4 to be exact.  But I often think the popularity of this verse is self-centered.  If I ask (and ask often enough) I will receive.  If I just keep looking or I just keep knocking, then this great thing will happen for me!

In his book Questions Jesus Asks - Where Divinity Meets Humanity, Israel Wayne turns this paradigm upside down.  He shifts the focus from the questions we are asking, to the questions Jesus asks in the Gospels.  He challenges the reader to contemplate these questions in order to find our own answers - the answers Jesus intends for us to discover, the answers that are meant just for us.
He isn't asking the questions for His own benefit but rather on behalf of the person being asked.  Jesus was full of love and compassion for people.  His questions penetrate the heart and probe our deepest motives.
 In this work, Israel Wayne presents twenty questions and relates each to a specific principle or concept.  He then breaks the question down,  through analysis of scripture and personal study, reflection and experience, in a way that is sure to cause you to think about the question in a way you never considered before.  For example, in his analysis of Matthew 16:26 Mr. Wayne poses the question "What will it profit a man?"  He relates to the concept of money.  He challenges the reader to think about how we are investing in eternity and the idea that everything belongs to God.  The wealth we accumulate during our lifetime is God's and is intended for us to use to do His will.  I know for me personally, it's really easy to get caught up in thinking about the next thing "I want" and to not give any consideration for the next thing that God wants.

Among the other questions presented are:

  • Who Do People Say That I Am? (Christology)
  • Didn't You Know? (Virgin Birth)
  • Who Are My Mother and Brothers? (Family)
  • What Are You Seeking? (Discipleship)
  • What Will It Profit a man? (Money)
  • Who Touched Me? (Healing)
  • Do You Want to Get Well? (Counseling)
  • Why Are You Afraid? (Fear)
  • What Is Your name? (Demonology)
  • What Were You Arguing About? (Servanthood)

What I really enjoyed about this particular book is that it's presented in a very straightforward way - no degree in theology required.  It's also very relevant to the present packed with real-world concerns. And while the subject matter is quite mature, Mr. Wayne has written in a way that anyone from teenager to adult can relate.  I also appreciate the fact that there is an appropriate amount of humor weaved throughout that ultimately allows you to really stop and laugh at yourself for a minute and eases the burden of thinking "Am I the only one that feels this way?" or "Am I the only one that's done that?"  I think it's important that we not take ourselves too seriously, but recognize that we are all imperfect human beings called to be perfect.

In our pursuit of perfection, it's easy to get caught up in our shortcomings.  In fact, the Devil wants us to get caught up in them because he wants us to be discouraged.  He wants us to get caught up in our personal desires - that new car, the next vacation, those season tickets.  He wants us to have doubts - I can't resist this or I just can't stop doing that, I can't change.  Jesus want's us to be without fear and not be discouraged (Joshua 1:9).  Jesus wants us to seek Him (Matthew 6:33).  Jesus wants us to have faith (Matthew 11:22).  Jesus wants to guide us on a journey discovery and Israel Wayne has provided a very thought provoking way to embark by examining the Questions Jesus Asks.  Now it's up to us to ask for clarification, seek to understand and knock to open the door of wisdom.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Doug! I like your Carpe Diem esque tag line as well. Reminds me of a similar day or day one. You choose.