JESUS, I HAVE A QUESTION
All of us ask questions. We ask questions for clarity, understanding, and insight. We pose inquiries to learn and access information. In short, we ask because we want to know. Many of us may have been instructed as children not to ask the Lord why, particularly when a loved one died. I clearly understand not questioning the Lord’s authority to do His will. Does this mean that one should never question the Lord? I don’t think so! Thankfully, in the gospels, we find people questioning Jesus, asking Him questions. Amazingly, Jesus did not push away inquiring minds. He was not opposed to being questioned, providing the motive was not corrupt. So, for the next few devotionals, we are going to explore some of the questions various people asked Jesus, during His earthly ministry. Looking at these questions and studying Jesus’ responses will open our eyes some very important life matters and spiritual matters. So much is learned from Jesus’ question and answer sessions. Finally, I hope exploring these question and answer session encourage you questions, concerns, and request to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our first question is found in Mark 10:17-31. I agree, this is a long passage for a devotional. However, it is worth reading. You want to get the full scope of the question and matters surrounding the question. Here is the text.
17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” 
In the above passage the questioner is one must people envy. He is the person everyone wants to be. That is, he is rich, young, and in charge. Sounds like a wonderful life, right? Why would he have any questions? Sounds like he has what it takes to be comfortable, happy, and satisfied. For him, life has to be good. He is even religious. Face it, looking at his life from the outside does not mean we have a clear view of him as a person. We can’t see his heart. It is possible to have things, stuff, and status; but remain empty on the inside. His question reveals that something is missing from his life. Millions today have the same void this young man had. His void is revealed by his question. He comes to Jesus with a serious question.
Before examining his question, notice how he approached Jesus.
17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
This young inquirer’s actions and speech are profound, even before he asked Jesus his question. His profound action was he knelt. Kneeling showed honor and reverence. He is showing Jesus great respect. His profound speech was he called Jesus “good teacher.” He saw Jesus as respectable, sound, and beneficial. In his opinion, Jesus was qualified to instruct and impart knowledge and skills. How do you see Jesus? Why question Him if you have a low or small view of Him? I grew up hearing a call and response song that says, “what do you think about Jesus?” The response was, “He’s alright.” In spite of the negative pictures of Jesus created by the world, He really is good and He really is alright.
After honoring and complimenting Jesus, the rich, young, and in charge man asked Jesus life’s most important question. He asked Jesus “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” The young man knows it is probable, it can happen. But he needs to know what it takes to live forever in God’s kingdom, in His presence. Notice Jesus’ response in the following verses.
18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ”
Jesus gave him a list of commandments. The young man reveals that he knows and observes these commandments. He keeps the rules and have been keeping them for years. Still, the rules have not assured him that he will inherit eternal life. Clearly, he has followed the rules but the rules have left him with this void in his spirit. He presses Jesus for something more than rules. Are you ready for more than religious rules? Well, it is available.
The young man asked for more and Jesus provided him with more. Notice what Jesus told him in the following verse.
21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Jesus responds to the young man’s quest for more in three ways. One, Jesus looked at him. This means Jesus looked intently at and looked him in the face. This is a looking at that calls for your attention. In the look, Jesus was saying I want you to hear this. Two, Jesus loved him. This is agape love. Jesus cherished, appreciated, and highly regarded this young man. His love for him was not based on what he had, but He loved him simply because the man existed. Finally, Jesus instructed the young man to sale, give, and to follow Him. In short, Jesus is asking the young man to make Him first in his life. He is called to make Jesus the priority. Jesus is asking the young man to allow Him to take the lead in determining the direction of his life. I pray you understand that Jesus sees you and He loves you. He is also giving you instructions in His Word. How will you respond? Notice how the young man responded, in the following verse.
22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Poor guy! He leaves the presence of the Lord Jesus saddened, discouraged, and grieved. He moved from Jesus’ presence and went in another direction. He is in the place to have his void filled and he turns it down. Are you allowing Jesus to fill the void in your life? Trust me, nothing else will do. Jesus calls for a complete surrender, total trust, and obedience. The correct response to His request is yes! What is the level of your yes, Lord?
I believe this is a good stopping point for us. Yes, there is so much more in this passage. Jesus expounds on the hindrance of wealth. There is a second question in verse 26, “who can be saved?” Jesus’ answer is with God all things are possible. Perhaps your current question is can I be saved? The answer is yes! Trust and follow Jesus. Don’t ally anything, person, or behavior to take His place in your life. Trust Him to be the authority in your life. Don’t focus on rules, but focus on Him.
By: Bishop Arthur F. Mosley