Message: We are not obligated to respond to every question asked of us about the gospel. Some questions are formulated with hidden motives. The scribes and Pharisees did this to Jesus constantly because they were trying to set him up to answer in a way that would contradict Moses or the law. They hoped to discredit him by proving that Jesus was contradicting Moses. Jesus was never in opposition to Moses or the law but it would almost appear that way by watching the things he was deliberately doing. He healed on the sabbath and it absolutely infuriated the Scribes and Pharisees because they had taken the laws of Moses and added their own rules to it as a means of control over the people. Jesus was turning all of that on it’s head in order to bring clarity back to what the law had intended to be. So when they came with their sneaky questions, Jesus saw right through them and often answered their questions with other questions- exposing their motives. I’m not suggesting that we treat every question we are presented with hostility, but we don’t have to accept a question in the form it is presented. It’s ok to ask follow up questions to determine what the person is really trying to ask. In the case of Jesus, he rejected their original question of “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority?”. This really was a “who do you think you are?” type of question and he didn’t come there to prove he was the Messiah. In fact, the opposite was true and he even quieted the demons who recognized him and reacted. Jesus was on mission to bring redemption to the world and he didn’t let anyone distract him from that mission. In this case, he answered their questions with parables. The parables were very telling and exposed the motives of the scribes and Pharisees.
Command: Stay on mission! Our mission is to share our personal testimony of our encounter with God and provide the opportunity for others to be saved.
Promise: If I share the good news of the gospel and live it out, those who are legitimately searching will respond and be saved.
Warning: Don’t get tripped up by arguments and hot button topics. I personally don’t discuss what sin is or isn’t with unbelievers. These types of questions are not purposed with the intent of learning and becoming obedient to the gospel. Most of the time these types of questions are designed to discredit, disprove or unleash a “cancel culture”. In fact, if they are coming from unbelievers these questions do not even matter until they become believers. They can’t be saved through morality and obedience to a gospel they don’t believe, so until they are saved- why does it matter to them what our stance is on sin?
Application: This application is so simple, yet we make it so hard. We live in a world that is in constant outrage. There are opportunities everywhere we turn to engage in these debates and arguments. We weren’t called to engage in this stuff. We were called to share the GOOD NEWS of the gospel that Jesus came to save. The apostle Paul shared his testimony with the unsaved, and provided the opportunity for salvation. He discussed sin issues with only the church, not the unbeliever. If we follow this example we will stay on mission.