Matthew 21:23
When Jesus returned to the temple and began teaching, the leading
priests and elders came up to Him and demanded, “By what
authority are you doing all these things?” (v.23).

A recent televised interview captured my attention.
The author of a controversial book kept
responding to questions by saying, “That’s a
great question.” And then he would orbit that “great
question” without ever landing on an answer.

Jesus surely frustrated the “interviewers” who came
to see Him in Matthew 21:1. “By what authority are you
doing all these things?” they demanded to know (v.23).
The Lord promised to answer them if they would first
answer His question: “Did John’s authority to baptize
come from heaven, or was it merely human?” (v.24).
Jesus wasn’t hiding behind a muddy stream of words.
He wanted to show the religious leaders how spiritually
lost they were. So He told them stories and asked more
questions to help them see their condition (vv.28-44).
But they chose to hate Jesus all the more. Later that same
week they would crucify Him.

The Bible shows us a remarkable contrast between the
questions Jesus asked and those that His enemy posed.
In Genesis 3:1, the serpent subtly planted a seed of doubt
in Eve’s mind: “Did God really say you must not eat
the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” (v.1). The
question was not designed to bring clarity but to cloud
the issue. Adam and Eve’s response to it introduced the
curse of death into our now-broken world.

The fact that we live in a dying world poses a question
for all of us: How will we be reconciled to God? Are we with the “tax collectors
and prostitutes” who repented? (Matthew 21:32). Or are we with the religious
leaders who refused to believe Jesus and had Him crucified? Our answer makes
all the difference in the world.

—Tim Gustafson

Read Genesis 3:1 to see how the serpent used
a question to lead Adam and Eve away from God.

How do you use questions? To confuse the issue? To bring clarity? To
glean information? Why is it vital for us to use questions that glorify God
and reveal His truth?