When Questions Are Traps

How do I respond when someone asks me a question that seems like a trap? People tried to trap Jesus with questions, not because they wanted to know the truth, but because they wanted to accuse Him. He used wisdom in His responses to them.

(Mark 12:13-17 The Pharisees try to catch him with his words and ask him if it’s lawful to pay taxes.   Jesus asks them whose face is on the coin.  When they tell Him that it’s Caesar, He says to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. In this passage, He does not give them a lengthy explanation. He is short and to the point.

Another time, when Jesus is preaching, Mary Magdalen is brought before him and accused of adultery. Jesus does not pick up stones. Since adultery takes two people, and only one person was presented, the man must be somewhere. (Deut. 22:22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die…”) Perhaps the man was one of the accusers. The Pharisees didn’t present the man caught in the act with her. Jesus bent down and wrote something on the ground. Possibly He wrote, Deut. 22:22 convicting the man also. When He stood up, He simply said, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” None of them could cast a stone. Perhaps they had each been with her the night before. They dropped their stones and walked away. Jesus’ words shut them down.

The Pharisees weren’t looking for a Savior. They did not like losing control of the people. Jesus stole the spotlight and many of the Jews were following Him. In Matthew 12:22-28, Jesus drives out a demon from a person. The Pharisees are so jealous of His power that they say that He uses power from Beelzebub, the prince of devils to do miracles. Jesus quickly lets them know that if the devil could cast out the devil, then he would be divided against himself. He makes His point quickly so that it renders them speechless.

How does Jesus know so quickly how to respond? He is God’s son and He not only knows the truth, He was the walking, living, breathing word of God to us on this earth. When we are saved, we are given the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. (Romans 8:11) We have the same ability to have the wisdom of Jesus. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives it to all men liberally, without finding fault and it shall be given to you.”

When someone asks me if something is a sin, how should I respond so that I don’t come across as judgmental? I question their intent. Are they asking me so they can condemn me with my own words, or do they really want to know? I know that judging someone and stating what sin is, are two different things. I also know that they will never be quiet long enough to hear my explanation.

Proverbs 15:1 states, “A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”  I would respond with a simple statement. “If you truly want to know God, I would suggest that you start with 1 John, because it describes God’s love and forgiveness for us through His son, Jesus Christ. If you want to know what sin is, then read the book of Romans. Paul is pretty blunt about sin, but Jesus said He did not come to condemn you but to save you.”

Just A Glimpse of the Glory of God

What if Rainbows are just glimpses of the Glory of God?

The light coming down from the hem of His garments,

The earth is His footstool,

The stars in the heaven are His crown

If only we believed how truly close He is

Maybe we would realize just how far away our hearts have become.

We strive after life on earth …

Forgetting who created us

Each formed in our mother’s womb by His hands,

Each created with a purpose in mind.

How many lives have been lost in destruction?

When destruction was never part of the plan!

If we regain our focus,

We might just see

That a rainbow after a storm

Is merely a glimpse of the Glory of our God.

Casssandra M. Menut

What if Rainbows are just glimpses of the Glory of God?

The light coming down from the hem of His garments,

Psalms 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

The earth is His footstool,

The stars in the heaven are His crown

Isaiah 66:1

“Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. “

If only we believed how truly close He is

Maybe we would realize just how far away our hearts have become.

Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Matthew 15:8

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

We strive after life on earth …

Ecclesiastes 1:14

“I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.”

Forgetting who created us

Isaiah 53:6

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each has turned his own way…”

Each formed in our mother’s womb by His hands,

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”

Psalm 139:13

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

Each created with a purpose in mind.

How many lives have been lost in destruction?

When destruction was never part of the plan!

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

If we regain our focus,

Hebrews 12:2

“We do this by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

 

We might just see

That a rainbow after a storm

Is merely a glimpse of the Glory of our God.

Genesis 9:13

“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

Revelation 4:3

“And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby.  A rainbow that shown like an emerald encircled the throne.”

Isaiah 53:5 “He was pierced for our transgressions…”

When I see Jesus holding his cross with his face pressed against it, I see him holding me in my most wretched form; a sinner.  He endured agony I can not imagine, nor would I ever want to have to endure.

He was led into a crowded courtyard.

Spectators stood by waiting for what, a show?

The scourging ripped open the flesh on his back. Blood spewed from his veins like water from a broken pipe.  He should have bled to death, but he held on.

Why hold on?

He was led out of the courtyard.  The people shook their head.  Comments were flung out like dirty rags on a hot summer day, “He got what he deserved. He should not have opposed God’s authority figures.  He had been warned over and over, and he just could not keep his mouth shut.”

The soldiers led him to a holding cell and made fun of him even more.  They beat him and pulled out his beard.  They spit in his face and mocked him.  He did not open his mouth.  They put a crown of thorns on his head and pounded it down until he bled from the puncture wounds.  (Isaiah 52:14  “Just as many were appalled at him, because he was so disfigured that he didn’t even seem human and simply no longer looked like a man.”)

He held his tongue and didn’t try to stop them.

He was sentenced to death by his own, rejected as if God himself had washed his hands of this man.

He was led like an animal to a place where he was forced carry a cross.  He held it close.  His face touched it without flinching.

It represented my filth.  The sins that caused him pain beyond endurance was that very thing that he embraced as he stumbled up the hill.

After he was mounted on high for display, he made a statement that should cause every heart to cringe at sin.  He simply said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

“What do I do, Jesus, that held you on that cross? My heart begs for change, a prayer that only God can answer.”

When he held the cross close, he was holding me close to his heart.

John 5:39  “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,” — Jesus