There are three questions posed by Jesus that have resonated with me and reoriented my life. I believe by regularly asking ourselves these questions it can catalyze our spiritual journeys.
- Jesus turned around and saw them following him and asked “What do you want? (John 1:38)
Two men start to follow Jesus, and the very first words recorded out of the Word-made-flesh was this question: What do you want? The men claim that they want to know the street address of where Jesus is living, but Jesus knows they want something deeper so he invites them into his house. They end up spending the entire day with Him, because they discover that they want a relationship with God.
Asking ourselves what it is we really want will help expose our heart’s hunger. Why do I want a bigger house, a six-pack (whether of IPAs or abs), or a weekend away with the wife?
2. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to be made whole?” (John 5:6)
Jesus comes across a middle-aged man who has been stuck for the past 38 years. He has tried everything to heal his broken body, but nothing and no one has helped him. Jesus enters and asks a simple but profound question – Do you want to get well? Literally his question is, “Do you want to be made whole?” It’s offensive on the surface, because the man has tried so hard. But, this question is an invitation of Jesus to be made whole. Where The Splitter has sought to tear us apart, Jesus seeks to restore us and reunite us.
This question forces us to wrestle with if we really want to be changed. You cannot help someone until they realize they need help.
3. And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29)
This is the central question in Mark’s gospel, and the central question Jesus asks all of us. He asks his followers, “Who do people say that I am?” And these men start to list different cultural responses. In our culture, the three attitudes we tend to have about Jesus can be boiled down to: Liar, Lunatic or Legend. Either He knew He was not the Son of God, but tried to deceive all of us into thinking that He is God. Or He was a crazy cult leader who truly thought He was God, but really was not. Perhaps Jesus is just the legend of a “nice guy” who did “nice things” for people – sort of like Paul Bunyan. While the disciples were sharing with Jesus the cultural beliefs about who He is, Jesus stops their ramblings and asks the same question but more pointedly. “BUT, what about you. Who do you say that I am?” Not your parents, or your faith upbringing, or your wife…you…who do you say Jesus is?
Peter responds by calling him the Lord – the Christ – the One.
We should stop and ask ourself these three questions:
- What do I want?
- Do I want to be made whole?
- Who do I say Jesus is in my life?