Answering a Wrong Question

The Gospel of Mark records a series of encounters that Jesus had with those who opposed him. The last confrontation in this series was with the religious-political leaders who did not believe in the resurrection.

These men posed a question to Jesus pertaining to the afterlife. Since they did not believe in the afterlife, their question was merely an attempt to expose this perceived fallacy. They made a stab at trying to corner Jesus, who believed what they did not.

Like Jesus, Christians today are ridiculed and questioned about issues that are unbelievable to skeptics. Some of these questions relate to Christian teachings on creation, the exclusivity of Jesus, the authority of the Scriptures, ethics, etc.

In response to the question, Jesus demonstrated tremendous wisdom. Before he gave them a clear answer, he exposed the basis for their lack of understanding.

Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?
(Mark 12:24 ESV)

First of all, notice that Jesus said that they were wrong. That is interesting because in this encounter, they only asked a hypothetical question. We have all heard that there is no such thing as a dumb or wrong question. It seems that Jesus would disagree with that. It is one thing to ask a question in an attempt to understand or gain wisdom. It is quite another thing to ask a question as a way to malign God’s word.

Their question was wrong on two counts. First, it exposed them as ones who did not know the Scriptures. These men were students of the Scriptures, but did not grasp its true meaning nor rely on its authority. They placed their themselves as judges over the word. Their minds were their authority.

You will probably encounter skeptics who read and study the Bible as much or more than you do. Yet, their goal is to expose the Bible and expose Christians for believing the Bible.

These men were also wrong because they did not know the power of God. Here’s the key question for us – When you can’t grasp how something in the Bible could be true, what will you do? Will you dismiss what the Bible says since it doesn’t make sense? Or will you conclude that God is powerful enough to work things out even if you don’t understand how he could?

I am not sure of the details in how God could create the world and mankind in six days. I know that he spoke creation into existence and that is a demonstration of his power. I am not sure all the details surrounding the return of the Lord, but am confident that the omnipotent God has it all figured out.

You will find increased confidence and wisdom, when you know the Scriptures and the power of God. When you are confronted with the skeptic’s questions, you can respond with what the Bible teaches. If you don’t know what that is, you can simply trust the power of God. He won’t be thwarted by the skeptic.