Summary: We can learn from Jesus on now to answer tough questions.
John 1:19-28 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even He who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
I. Be prepared for tough questions!
A. Some ask because they are curious
B. Some ask to trick
C. Some ask because they have past hurts
1 Peter 3:15-16 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
II. Prepare how you will respond!
A. Be Slow to respond (listen)
James 1:19b You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
B. Respond with Grace
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
C. Respond with accuracy in love
Ephesians 4:14-15 we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.
III. Know your purpose!
A. My relationship with God is the first priority
Matthew 22:37-38 ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
B. The way I treat people is important
Matthew 22:39 – A second commandment is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
1. You need to ask tough questions
a. In church
b. In Small Group
c. With others you respect
2. What are you doing to be prepared?
3. How are you available to others?