If Jesus sat down with us for some one-on-one time, what would we ask Him? More importantly, how would we respond to His questions?
Knowing He is omniscient God, the Living Word of God [John 1:1-3] who knows the “thoughts and intents of the heart” [Hebrews 4:12], compels us to answer honestly and fully. No hiding, deflecting, or excusing. Just honest answers.
John’s Gospel records several questions Jesus asked in His earthly ministry. By personally considering each of His questions, we face His same probing truth. By responding truthfully, may we be drawn into a more intimate walk with Him.
10th Question – For Which of Those Works Do You Stone Me?
The Jewish religious leaders were exasperated. Surrounding Jesus, they asked, “If You are the Christ, tell us plainly” [John 10:24].
Jesus responded with one of the most famous Scriptural quotes:
I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep… My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” [John 10:25-30]
They asked if He was the Christ, the promised Messiah; He confirmed it clearly. Obviously, His response was unacceptable as they attempted to stone Him to death for blasphemy. Jesus knew who He was so confirming His identity wasn’t blasphemy. Yet their hatred, legalism, lack of Scriptural knowledge, and unrealistic expectations blinded their minds.
Foreknowing their response, Jesus said, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” [John 10:32, bold text added].
When we ask God a question, we’d better be prepared for the answer. And our position better be open-ended to ensure open-minded acceptance. He knows the “thoughts and intents” of our hearts [Hebrews 4:12] so playing mind games doesn’t work.
Sometimes God’s answers aren’t what we want to hear. So, we get angry—and try to manipulate the outcome on our own. We do this because we don’t ask Him for direction, favor, or submission to His will. No, we generally ask for His acceptance of our will and approval of our agenda.
Often, our response is, “God promised if I delight myself in Him, He will grant me my heart’s desires” [Psalm 37:4]. However, truly delighting in Him means we are submissive to His will. Sheep follow the Shepherd—they don’t demand the Shepherd follow them.
Yes, presenting requests to God in prayer is acceptable. Yet, we are wise to preface them with, “Not my will but Thine be done.” Our desires and perspectives are limited; God sees the end from the beginning [Isaiah 46:10]. How much better it is to seek His guidance, accept His response, and submit to His perfect will.
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This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Nate Stevens