Mark Day 12: Asking the Right Questions

Questioning by Amber Perrodin

Gospel of Mark Reading Plan
Day 12 Reading:
Mark 12

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
Jesus said, “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”
– Mark 12:27(NIV)

Observation
During the last week of Jesus’ life, he enters into a series of debates with the Jewish religious leaders headquartered in Jerusalem. Mark 12 gives us a glimpse of these adversarial discussions. Each question posed by the leaders is designed to trap Jesus. Jesus counters with wisdom, insight, and questions of his own, exposing their motives and foolishness.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

In Mark 12:18-27, the Sadducees ask an incredibly detailed question, attempting to trap Jesus in his views on the resurrection, something they themselves do not believe exists. Jesus responds by telling them they do not know the Scriptures and are thus asking the wrong questions. Concerning their question he replies that our eternal natures will be so different from what they are now that they will be beyond the concerns of marriage. He then criticizes the Sadducees for being so concerned about what will happen after death, that they have forgotten the important matters of living a God honoring life.

The Kingdom of God is a present and future reality. God is at work in the present and desires people to believe, follow, and be about God’s saving work in the here and now. The leaders are spending their time arguing over minuscule points of theology rather than giving their energy to what is far greater- loving God, loving their neighbor, and helping others to do the same.

When we discern the will of God, we have not captured something.  The will of God is dynamic—alive—ongoing. One thing leads to another.  Accurate and faithful discernment will create a new platform for subsequent discernment.  Or to say it another way, our previous discernment will inform and direct our current and future discernment. – Steve Harper, Ministry Musings: Discernment is Not (2)

Application
To sin literally means to miss the mark. The religious leaders are missing the mark- mistreating God’s Word, misdirecting those in their care, mispending their time and energy, misunderstanding the big points of walking with God, and literally missing God’s Messiah.

It’s such a waste of time, energy, thought, resources… I wonder how often I make the same mistakes.

If asking good questions is so critical,why don’t most of us spend more of our time and energy on discovering and framing them? One reason may be that much of Western culture, and North American society in particular, focuses on having the “right answer” rather than discovering the “right question.” Our educational system focuses more on memorization and rote answers than on the art of seeking new possibilities. We are rarely asked to discover compelling questions, nor are we taught why we should ask such questions in the first place. Quizzes, examinations, and aptitude tests all reinforce the value of correct answers. Is it any wonder that most of us are uncomfortable with not knowing? – Eric E. Vogt, Juanita Brown, and David Isaacs; The Art of Powerful Questions: Catalyzing Insight, Innovation, and Action

Prayer
God of Truth, I see the mistakes of the religious leaders in the Scriptures and I shudder. I see the mistakes of the religious leaders down through the ages, and I wince. I seek the mistakes of the religious leaders in this very age, this very week, and I weep.

Lord have mercy.

I feel the weight of responsible leadership in your Name. I want to serve you well and follow you faithfully. How often have I made the same mistakes? How often have I misrepresented you and misled others to do the same?

Lord have mercy.

Forgive us Lord and set us a right. Help us to ask the right questions. Help us to spend our time well. Grant us discernment and insight. Open our eyes to the error of our ways and to see when we are on track. Keep us and all who you have called to lead in the center of your love, your protection, and your will.

Lord have mercy. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done. Amen.

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For more information on the Gospel of Mark Reading Plan, click here

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