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August 2, 2020 Sermon Notes and Slides


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No One Dared to Ask Him Any More Questions

Mark 12:13-34

Tony Chute, Lead Pastor

Overview: Jesus continues to be confronted by religious authorities who have determined to bring an end to His ministry. By asking a series of difficult questions, they hope to trap Jesus in His own words and thus turn popular opinion against Him. The first question pertains to the proper role of governmental authority over the people of God. Jesus’ answer provides a singular principle with a wide range of applications. The second question raises issues related to the resurrection of the dead. Jesus’ answer nullifies the question based on biblical revelation. The third question gets to the heart of what it means to be right with God. Jesus’ answer affirms the questioner while prompting further consideration. In each of these encounters, Jesus teaches us how to be better disciples by asking good questions and accepting good answers.

01. Jesus understood the heart of the questioner as He encountered each question. Therefore, we should not seek to entrap or trick people with our questions; nor should we patronize or hypothesize; rather, we should ask sincerely and with a willingness to learn.

02. Jesus provided us with a pattern for accepting answers to our questions. Some will have a singular principle with multiple applications; others will be affirmed or nullified by biblical revelation; others will require further consideration; and all should point us to loving God and each other more.

Questions for Discussion and Discovery

1. What clues from the text indicate good or bad motives on behalf of the questioners (verses 13, 18, 28)? What do our motives reveal about our character when we ask questions of others? Have you ever been asked a trick question that was designed to make you look bad? How did you respond?

2. What were the difficulties embedded in the question of whether or not to pay taxes to Caesar (verses 14-15)? Do you think Jesus avoided the question, or did He answer the question? If you had to unpack the meaning of His answer, what would you say belongs to Caesar? What would you say belongs to God?

3. When the Sadducees asked about the resurrection, they included a hypothetical example of a woman who had married brothers in succession (verses 19-23). In what ways do hypothetical questions help us to understand the logic of our thinking? In what ways can hypothetical questions detract from the original question?

4. How would you have answered the question, “What is the most important commandment?” What does Jesus’ answer reveal to us about placing God first and loving others in our search for wisdom?

5. In your opinion, what indicators suggest that a person is approachable for you to ask questions? What qualities or qualifications do you look for in a person when asking questions pertaining to the Christian faith?

For Further Reading: R. C. Sproul, Now, That’s a Good Question! (Tyndale, 1996)