Focal Passages: John 7:14-18, 25-31, 33-36
The lack of sound, biblical doctrine leads to confusion and shallow theology. Just as Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:3, the time has come “when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” Our lesson this week challenges us to be prepared to answer questions about Jesus.
John 7 provides examples of how Jesus answered tough questions. Jesus was clear that everything he taught was from God (John 7:14-18). So, as we experience being asked about Jesus in our discipleship relationships, in our home and in community relationships, we need to do the same thing. For example, in a mentoring relationship with a young woman, I am asked questions about how Jesus would have her relate to her husband, her children and her friends. I think there have been times when I was tempted to give my own advice, but it is essential that I advise her, from scripture. When we disciple others in this manner, we are emphasizing that Jesus’ teaching is valid for every experience and that the teaching is from God.
Our home environment provides a daily setting for answering questions about Jesus by the way we live in challenging situations. Jesus was asked tough questions by those who knew “where he was from” (John 7:27). Who, but your family, sees you in the first and last moments of your day? Does your behavior give further understanding as to how we have learned from the teaching of Jesus or does it seem to cause more questions?
The community within which we function provides unlimited opportunities to answer questions about Jesus. We should not be surprised when a non-believer does not instantly understand our answers (John 7:35). A key is to be a person who is approachable and is willing to listen to someone’s questions. The questions often are not easy, but in prayer, the Holy Spirit can reveal to us the appropriate scripture to share.