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Questions, Questions....

How would you respond to the following questions from the Doug Fields book, Would You Rather…?
  • #1: Would you rather be rich or famous?  
  • #127: Would you rather look stupid, or be stupid?
  • #450: Would you rather be covered with spiders, or with snakes?
  • #241: Would you rather drop a 15-pound bowling ball on your foot, or have your finger slammed in a car door?
  • #116: Would you rather have more money than time, or more time than money?

During a recent senior high Sunday school class, I had students select a number at random, and I asked the corresponding question from, Would You Rather...?  Some answers were quite humorous.  Others allowed for follow-up questions and opportunities to dig deeper into the reasons “why” for the answers that were given.  As the students began to inquire more deeply from each other, I witnessed a deeper connection and a deepening of their relationships.  

“Our questions,” I told my class, “can reveal more than just what is on our minds.  Questions can reveal what is on our hearts.  If you were to ask Jesus three questions, what would they be?”

I gave them about 10 minutes to write down three questions on a small scrap of paper.  I explained that there are no questions off-limits to God.  He can handle our questions, doubts, fears... everything.  Here is a small sample of the responses I received:
  • “Why did you let Adam and Eve sin?”
  • “What did it feel like to be killed by your children?”
  • “What did it look like when you created the universe… Can you show me?”
  • “Where is Heaven?”
If you were to ask Jesus three questions, with the assurance that he would give you an immediate answer, what would they be?  Why not pause from continuing to read further into this article until you have written down your three questions.  Take your time.  Take this seriously.  Give yourself at least ten minutes...
***
Now that you have your questions written, ask yourself:
  • Why did I choose these questions that I did?
  • How would the answers to these questions guide my walk with the Lord?
  • What do my questions reveal about my heart?
The next thing I asked the class to consider was what three questions could they think of that they could imagine Jesus asking them?  Jesus often asked people questions not to gain answers, but to prod people toward deeper spiritual truths.  Here are some examples, which you should examine in context, to see the bigger picture:
  • “Why did you doubt?”  (Matt 14:31)
  • “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  (Matthew 16:13)
  • “Do you believe I can do this? (Matt 9:28)
  • “Why are you thinking such things in your heart?” (Mark 2:8)
  • “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25)
  • “Do you also want to leave me?” (John 6:67)
  • “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  (John 9:35)
If Jesus were to ask you three questions, what would they be?  Pause, again, from continuing to read further until you have written down your three questions.  Give yourself another ten minutes.
***
Now that you have recorded these questions, ask yourself again:
  • Why did I choose these questions that I did?
  • How would the answers to these questions guide my walk with the Lord?
  • What do my questions reveal about my heart?
Let’s take a look at the Gospel of John, chapter 1, verses 35-39.

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples.  When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 

When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.  Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 

“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. 

When Jesus engaged with the two disciples of John the Baptizer who had left their master to follow himself, he asked what I perceive to be one of the most honest and open questions I have come across in all of Scripture: What do you want?
I asked my class to consider the answer to that question.  I, myself, have pondered that question many times, with many different responses.  In Psalm 37, David wrote of the importance of trusting in God for all things.  All things is everything, so in everything, we must put our confidence in God, whether our questions go unanswered, or His questions reveal our fragility in faith.  In verse 4, David writes,

Delight yourself in the LORD

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

I have never understood this passage to mean that God will give me what I want; whatever my heart desires.  I have always understood this to mean that by placing God at the head of my life, He would then direct my desires to be in alignment with his desires.
What do you want?
What stands in the way?

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