Summary: Behind every question is an agenda or attitude of heart.

Tuesday: That Special Week

(Matthew 21:23-22:40)

1. A couple was strolling along an ocean side beach and noticed a bottle floating in the water. They waded out toward it and saw it contained a note. They eagerly opened the bottle and read the note. It said:

"I’m marooned on a tropical island. There’s no pollution, traffic, noise, politicians, or taxes. Eat your heart out."

2. Life is very different when lived out with people!

3. And Jesus was a man of the people. He was not reclusive, but He focused outward. Because He ministered to people, He experienced both the pros and cons of human nature. He ministered to sincere people who were hungry for His Word and all sorts of people with agendas against Him.

4. You can tell a lot about a person by how he or she asks questions.

Main Idea: Behind every question is an agenda or attitude of heart.

I. A Question Can Be Hidden CONTEMPT (Matthew 21:23-22:14)

D. A. Carson writes, " It was customary to stop well-known teachers and ask them questions (cf. 22:16, 23, 35), and the crowds delighted in these exchanges."

A. An AUTHORITY Question (21:23)

1. This could be a legitimate question, but it is not.

2. The world is still asking this question: Who is Jesus to tell me how to live? To condemn my lifestyle?

3. Some have so redefined Jesus that He does not condemn anything except religious hypocrisy!

B. Jesus’ DEFLECTION (21:24-27)

C. Jesus’ Pinpointing the ATTITUDE problem via parables (21:28-22:14)

1. The Parable of the Two Sons (28-33) -- read this one only

2. The Parable of the Landowner (33-46)

3. The Wedding Banquet (22:1-14)

D. Contempt and its cousins, cynicism and sarcasm -- are bad qualities to have; they belong to the destroyer, not the edifier; they ruin relationships between spouses and between parents and children

Behind every question is an agenda or attitude of heart.

II. A Questions Can Be A TRAP (22:15-33)

A. A POLITICAL Trap (22:15-22)

• Explain the Roman situation and various Jewish attitudes

• One great issue in American Christianity is the relationship of the Gospel to politics; it is easy to confuse the flag with the cross

B. A DOCTRINAL Trap (22:23-33)

• Explain the differences between the Pharisees and Sadducees

• How Jesus used their own criteria to prove eternal life

C. Learn from Jesus: Do not feel obligated to satisfy the questions of a trapper; if you try to please them or play by their rules, they have succeeded. Do not be intimidated -- and, unless you are under oath in court, do not feel obligated to answer a question. Just refuse to answer.

Behind every question is an agenda or attitude of heart.

III. A Question Can Be SINCERE Inquiry (22:34-40)

A. Jesus’ ANSWER

B. The Pharisee’s RESPONSE

Mark 12:32-34 reads:

"Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Robert Lindsey explains the Kingdom of Heaven/God simply, "The kingdom of God appears whenever individuals take upon themselves the rule of God."

C. Because God’s Spirit is active, there are always people who are spiritually hungry, like this man… He was teachable and eager…

D. It is good to ask to learn….

E. But if someone is hostile toward the Kingdom, you could answer every question amazingly -- like Jesus did -- and they would still be hostile. Nothing changed for most of Jesus’ audience except among the sincere.

Behind every question is an agenda or attitude of heart.


1. A popular credit card commercial asks, "What’s in your wallet?"

2. But a better question is this: "What is your attitude toward Jesus Christ?" That is the pivotal truth we have just seen. Are you an eager and sincere learner, or someone looking for a reason to put Christ aside -- at least for now?

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