Why? That’s a question you hear a lot if you spend time around a very young child. It’s a word you might get very tired of hearing, but they have a natural curiosity. “It’s time for bed.” “Why?” “Eat your salad.” “Why”. They might ask, “Why is the sky blue” or “Why is water wet?” It can sometimes get very tiresome. There are much bigger questions than a toddler might ask, but too often we think it might be disrespectful to question God. “Why do I have cancer?” “Why did I lose my job?’ “Why do I need salvation?” Questions are good if they’re asked in order to gain information. The wrong way to get answers is to defiantly question God.
Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus encountered many people. Many of them had questions, but some just seemed to accept what He said. When He first began His ministry on earth, He called certain men to follow Him. Most of these men willingly followed Him without question. Peter and Andrew were brothers who were fishermen. They willingly dropped their nets when Jesus called them to follow Him.
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him” (Matthew 4:19-20).
It was the same way when Matthew (Levi) was called. “And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him” (Mark 2:14).
These men, and others, willingly left their livelihoods behind because the Holy Spirit revealed that Jesus was special. It seems as if the disciples had no question as to whether they should leave everything behind and follow Jesus. We might question whether or not it’s smart to leave a profitable fishing business, or the profitable but dishonest business of collecting taxes, but they followed Him and He provided for their needs. As they followed Him, they had questions, and those questions helped their understanding of His ways.
Not everyone who was called went without question. “The day following, Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me” (John 1:43).
It seems as if Philip had been looking for the Messiah, and recognized that Jesus was the One he had been waiting for. He immediately shared the Good News with a friend.
“Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see” (John 1:45-46).
Apparently, Nathanael also had been awaiting the Messiah, but wasn’t as certain that someone from Nazareth could possibly be the One. We can learn a lot from Nathaniel. It’s good to ask questions, but it’s good to be ready to accept the answer. Jesus wasn’t there for the conversation between Philip and Nathanael, but knew what was said. Jesus greeted Nathanael before introductions were made, which brought more questions from Nathanael.
“Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou was under the fig tree, I saw thee” (John 1:48).
Jesus knows you and sees you even before you come to Him. If you have questions, ask Him for answers. Nathanael did. “Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel” (John 1:49).
Nathanael found the answer he had been seeking, even though that answer didn’t exactly fit what he expected. Like Nathanael, when we ask God a question, we need to be ready to accept His answer even if it doesn’t fit our preconceived ideas.
There were others who questioned Jesus. The Pharisees had many questions, but they were only looking for the answers they thought they already knew. They weren’t seeking the truth. There were many encounters that ended with angry words and accusations. Still, there was one Pharisee who was looking for truth and went to Jesus with his questions.
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” (John 3:1-2).
Nicodemus was seeking answers. He wasn’t asking questions in order to trap Jesus or mock Him, but he wanted to understand the truth. Because he asked questions, we have the benefit of the answers which Jesus gave him.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
Everyone must be born again in order to gain eternal life. The Holy Spirit is sealed within Christians when we first believe, and He will help us to find answers to our many questions. Unless a person is led by the Holy Spirit, God’s word is impossible to understand.
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:5-6).
Every person is born once of the flesh, but the second birth is spiritual. That’s when you admit you’re a sinner and humbly accept the gift of salvation from Christ. It’s an answer to Nicodemus’ questions that gives us the most comforting words from Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-19).
Jesus didn’t enter His creation to bring condemnation, but to give the only way to gain eternal life. The gift of salvation is there for whoever will accept it by faith.
When we ask questions, how does God answer? Now, that’s a good question. The answer could come in various ways. You might talk with your pastor, or a friend might have the answer you are seeking. Maybe you’ll hear a song, and the words seem to give you the answer. You can be absolutely sure that if the answer is from God it will never contradict Scripture. Maybe your question is regarding a job. You have studied to become a school teacher and there’s a position available which pays good, but requires you to teach the lie of evolution and sexual diversity. Should you take that job and compromise truth? The answer is found in the first chapter of Romans. Read it for yourself. When we fail to recognize God as the Creator, He allows the sin of homosexuality to abound.
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves the recompence of their error which was meet” (Romans 1:26-27).
Instead of teaching lies and stumbling children, it would be better to teach in a Christian school. The pay may not be as high, but like Peter and Andrew who left their nets to follow Jesus, He will provide for your needs. What if you’re a Christian who is contemplating moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Take the question to God, then abide by His answer. Scripture says that any sexual encounter outside of a one-man/one-woman marriage is fornication, and therefore sin. When the Apostles were trying to answer the question of whether Gentiles had to first embrace Jewish Law in order to be saved, they prayed. The answer they received didn’t contradict the Old Testament Scriptures.
“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves ye shall do well. Fare ye well” (Acts 15:28-29).
There you have it. There was a question, and the Apostles prayed for an answer.
Any sexual relation outside of marriage is fornication, so God says ‘No, you can’t move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend.’ Scripture says you aren’t to stumble anyone nor are you to give the appearance of evil. How about asking God if you should join in partnership or marriage with a non-believer?
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
Christians are in the world, but aren’t to be part of the world. Our choices have to be based upon God’s ways, and sometimes that means making a sacrifice. The “sacrifice” of not fulfilling the lust of the flesh pales in comparison to the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for your salvation. When you say you’re a Christian, then you need to follow Christ.
Seek His way, not the way of evil. Don’t go to Jesus and ask Him questions and expect Him to give you an answer that fits your will instead of His.
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (1 Peter 3:12).
Nicodemus was a good example of someone who was truly asking questions in order to know truth. You may be the one God uses to answer the questions of others, so you need to hold God’s ways higher than the ways of the world.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
Have answers for others and also live your life so that others can see God living in you.
Don’t be afraid to take questions to God. Those questions are important, and He will answer.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God breathed.
If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.