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Sunday, October 16, 2016

When Jesus Asks Questions (Mark 8:2)

"But what about you? he asked. "Who do you say that I am?"

The first recorded conversation in the Bible is at God's initiation when God asks Adam the question, "Where are you?" Many other stories follow that one with God asking man a question. God typically asks questions to bring man to an admission of guilt or to provoke a response.

Count the number of questions Jesus asks throughout today's reading.

Since Jesus knows everything why does He ask so many questions? What is His goal in asking questions? What does His asking questions force the disciples and others to do?

Jesus asks questions to prompt humility; He asks blind Bartemaus "What do you want me to do for you? He is not eliciting information but requiring a surrender.

Jesus asks questions to expose the human heart. He asks Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" and He asks the Pharisee, "Why are you tempting me?" One question exposed a heart of faith while the other revealed a heart of unbelief.

Jesus asks questions to provoke a confession of faith. Peter answers, "You are the Christ"

As the Spirit speaks to you through the Word, God's questions likewise expose either a heart of faith or a heart of unbelief. The writer of Hebrews warns believers, "Beware brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the Living God (3:12).

As you ask questions of the text, God's Spirit is asking questions of you. Listen closely.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Mark 8:11-3; Matthew 16:1-4
  • How does Jesus treat the Pharisees' and Sadducees' inquiry?
Mark 8:14-21; Matthew 16:5-12
  • Why were the disciples fretting? What is their main problem?
  • Why does Jesus refer the disciples to the miraculous feeding of the 4,000 and the 5,000?
  • If Jesus isn't talking about bread then what is He talking about?
  • What is the yeast of the Pharisees? (Luke 12:1)
Mark 8:22-26
  • How does this healing of the blind man differ from other healings of the blind people in the Gospels?
Mark 8:27-30; Matthew 16:13-20; Luke 9:18-21; John 6:60-71
  • We know that Jesus knows all things. Why, then, does He ask the disciples what the people are saying about His identity?
  • What does Peter's answer tell you about Jesus' goal in asking this question regarding Jesus' identity?
  • What do the disciples find so difficult to comprehend? You may want to refresh your memory by reviewing the end the October 14th reading.
Mark 8:31-9:1; Mathew 16:21-28; Luke 9:22-27
  • What transition begins to take place in Jesus' ministry?
  • What is behind Peter's assessment of the situation? What does this tell you about the enemy?
  • How does Jesus describe the cost for those who will follow Him from this day forward?
  • What does Jesus promise those listening to the sound of His voice?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to show you where you have been minding the things of man rather than the things of God.