Sermons

Summary: A look at some of the questions which Jesus asks us.

Questions

Matthew 20:20-34

* Being around a child that is almost 4 means hearing a myriad of questions every day. These little guys have very inquisitive minds and know, it seems, instinctively that the way to find out things is to ask questions. This is learned early and used throughout a lifetime.

* Consider all the places where questions are used as a tool; schools, the legal system, employment tests, and even surveys (just to name a few). Questions are an invaluable resource to learning.

* Today we have read about 2 encounters of Jesus. One with a mom and her boys and the other with 2 blind men. To understand Jesus’ mindset we may remind ourselves that in verse 17 He had set His face toward Jerusalem where He knew that He would die. He had eternity on his mind and heart when faced with these two encounters. Instead of simply jumping to conclusions, we find Jesus asking 3 penetrating questions. While at first blush two of these questions appear to be the same, a closer look reveals they have much different meanings and purposes. Let’s look at these three questions.

1. The Revealing Question – Inverse 21 the mother of James and John comes to Jesus with her boys in tow. Personally, I have studied all around this scene and have concluded that she approached Jesus with renewed respect (which is why she felt the need to kneel) and obviously her countenance toward Jesus was different than other times because He picked up on the fact that she wanted something. Hear Jesus, “What do you want?” How often have I asked my children that question?! It is clear that Jesus knew this was a big deal to her because although we cannot see it, she is probably more nervous than other times, plus He can see it in her face. There is always something noticeably different about someone who is going to ask for something highly personal and decidedly selfish. In my mind, Jesus’ hangs in the air as she realized that Jesus had a good idea of what she was going to ask. Probably taking a deep breath, she responded with the answer that we all know she had rehearsed many times. Her words “Promise that my boys may sit on your right and left n your kingdom” spoke of the many things which she did not understand.

* It reveals our motivation. Do you know what your motivation actually is? It is what we hold in our heart. As you think in your heart, so you are. For this mom, she thought her boys were better than the others. For us, our pride makes us believe that we deserve more or that we are due more. What is it that you want? To answer this question is to reveal your motivation for all you do.

Questions – Pg 2

* It reveals misunderstanding. She still didn’t understand who Jesus was and why He came. She certainly didn’t understand His Kingdom because she was still thinking that He was overthrown Roman rule and set up His Kingdom. It was a revealing question for Jesus and it still reveals much about us. Do we understand what His purpose & priority really is? Do we understand what He is doing? By the way, she certainly had no clue. Can you imagine her surprise when Jesus said, “You have no idea what you are asking and that I don’t make this decision.” Do we understand who Jesus is, what is important to Him, and how He does it?

* It reveals maturity. – As a child what they want and it will be candy, toys, or the latest video game. You can count on this: it will be something for THEM!! All a child can see is what “I” want. This is not because kids are bad, horrible, or mean, it is because they are immature in their thought processes. Very little reveals one’s maturity level like the ‘what do you want’ question. This mom wanted her boys to be on the throne. We could say that her immaturity revealed her mistrust and even her manipulation. She felt that she had to help her boys because she couldn’t trust them to achieve on their own so she had to personally manipulate the Lord.

* Consider this question. “What is it that you want?” Answer it in your own heart. It will reveal much about who you are, about whose you are, and even about what you are. The revealing question.

2. The Reaching Question – We find the “Reaching” question in verse 32 and admittedly at first glance, it may appear that Jesus asked these blind men the same question, but it not really the same. To the mom He’d asked, “What do you want?” while to the blind men He asked, “What do you want ME to DO for YOU?” Consider the blind men. They didn’t come on bowed knee but rather came with a needy heart. They were, in all likelihood, pitiful. They had spent their lives on the bottom of the food chain begging for food and money. Now they heard that Jesus, the Son of David, was coming within earshot. So they were going to make the best effort they could, so they began to cry out. In our two stories we see 2 pairs of men, one pair thought they ‘deserved’ while these boys were ‘desperate.’ No one knows exactly what they were thinking that Jesus might do for them. Perhaps He would give them a few coins or maybe some notoriety or maybe He could call on His God to heal them. Whatever they may have thought, it was worth the risk so they began to “cry out” to Jesus. When you’re desperate, no one can stop you from calling on Jesus because you know He is the only hope.

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