Questions for Jesus

Jesus' Authority (Matt. 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8)

It was the Tuesday before Jesus died. Every day He was teaching in the temple in Jerusalem. The religious leaders of the Jews were jealous of Him, and this day they decided to make Him look like a fool by asking Him some questions that would get Him in trouble.

So they came up to Him and asked, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority to do them?" If He answered "God," they would arrest Him, but if He answered with the name of a man, no one would believe in Him any more. So He said, "I will ask you a question too; and if you tell me the answer, then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Where was the baptism of John from? From heaven or from men?"

Then they talked it over with one another: "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him.' But if we say, 'From men,' all the people will throw rocks at us; for they think that John was a prophet." So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And He said to them, "And I will not tell you by what authority I do these things."

Taxes (Matt. 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26)

Later some of the Pharisees and some of the people who liked Herod as king came to Him and pretended to be having an argument. They said, "Teacher, we know that you say what is right and do not care what people think about you; for you do not look at who a man is, but truly teach the way of God. So tell us what you think: Is it all right to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?" Now if He said "no" the government would be mad at Him, but if He said "yes" the people would be mad at Him, because they hated to pay taxes. But Jesus knew what they were trying to do, so He said, "Why are you trying to trick me? Show me the money used to pay the tax." When they brought Him a coin, Jesus asked them, "Whose picture and name is this on it?" They said, "Caesar's." Then He said, "So give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and God the things that are God's." They were surprised when He said this and could not answer back.

The Resurrection (Matt. 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-40)

Then the Sadducees, who did not believe that people will ever rise from the dead, came to Him with a trick question. They said, "Teacher, Moses wrote that if a man died and left behind a wife but no children, then his brother must marry the woman and have children for the dead brother. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married a woman and then died, without having children. So the second one married her, and he died, leaving no children. The third did the same. This happened to all seven and none left any children. Last of all, the woman died. When people rise from the dead, whose wife will she be? For all seven were married to her?"

Then Jesus answered, "You are wrong, because you do not know either the scriptures or the power of God! In this world people marry and get married. But when people rise from the dead, they do not marry or get married, because they cannot die anymore. Rather, they are like angels in heaven and are sons of God, since they have risen from the dead. But even Moses showed that the dead are raised, in the place where he wrote about the burning bush. There he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now He is not God of the dead, but of the living, because everyone is alive to Him."

The Greatest Command (Matt. 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34)

When the Pharisees saw that He had answered the Sadducees well and silenced them, they had one of their lawyers ask Him a question. "Teacher, "he said, "which command in God's law is the greatest?" Jesus answered, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' And the second greatest is, 'You must love your neighbor like you love yourself.' All the law depends on these two commands."

David's Son (Matt. 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44)

Then Jesus asked the Pharisees a question, "Whose son do you think the Christ will be?" They answered, "David's." Jesus asked, "Then why does David, by the power of the Holy Spirit, call Him Lord? For David wrote in the book of Psalms, 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies under Your feet.' If David calls Him Lord, how can He be his son?" But they could not answer Him, and so that day no one dared ask Him any more questions. We however know the answer: Jesus is the Christ. He belonged to David's family, so He is called David's son. But He is more than a man; He is God come in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). So David called Him Lord. The real question is: Do you call Him Lord?

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