Thursday, January 9, 2014

Questions and Answers

The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" (Luke 5:21 NASB)

The news about Jesus had spread widely through Galilee. People had heard about His miracles and were coming to be healed. Other, like the scribes and Pharisees, were coming to see for themselves and to have firsthand knowledge with which to evaluate the stories they had heard. 

From the start, Jesus had not made a secret of his divinity, but He had focused more on ministry and teaching. This talk of forgiving sins was new and shocking. For scribes, who considered the name of God so holy that they washed their bodies before writing the name YHWH (not just once, but every time they wrote the name), saying something that sounded like a blasphemy was horrific. It is interesting to me that these men did not have the same response of those in Nazareth, who were filled with rage and very nearly threw Jesus off a cliff. Instead, these men questioned what they had heard. Who is Jesus? Who can speak such a blasphemy?  It sounded like a serious offense to God, but they did not make a move against Him. 

There are three ways to respond to Jesus's statement. Either you embrace it completely, reject it outright, or you seek verification of the truth of the statement. We see from this verse that, on this day, the scribes and Pharisees did not reject His words completely.  They were shocked and uncertain, but they didn't stone Him and they didn't walk out. 

What we, who are so familiar with the Word of God, sometimes forget is that there is nothing inherently wrong with questions, including questions about the truths of Christ and Scripture. Our Lord can handle questions and provide conclusive answers to those questions, as Jesus will demonstrate in the next few verses. The freedom to ask questions and find answers can make the difference between a life of faith and a life of doubt. 

Today, pray that our loved ones will seek until they find answers to all their faith questions and that God would provide competent assistance as they seek. Pray that they can find the answer to every question in Christ alone.