January 5

God’s Two Questions

Genesis 3:8-9 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

Mark 8:27b-29 …on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?” So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”

II Corinthians 5:18-19 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

There are two questions—one from the Old Testament and one from the New—that encapsulate all that God has done for sinful man, and how man can righteously respond in faith.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God asked the ironic question, “Where are you”? Of course God knew where they were, but the question shows that He began seeking man immediately after man’s rebellion. That’s never stopped. Even now, God is seeking sinful man, asking, “Where are you?” to all the unsaved. (Note: Adam is the same word as “man.”) His searching heart is everywhere—in alleyways, in boardrooms, on the streets, out in the fields, on boats, in homes. He is asking a question to which He knows the answer, but as with Adam, He asks seeking a response.

Set against that heartfelt cry that echoes down the millennia is a subset of that question. It’s another query, a specific one that arises for all mankind now that Messiah has come. Jesus asked His disciples, and asks us by extension, “Who do you say that I am?” It’s the second question of the ages. It’s the one that we answer in coming to Him, and the one that we ask others as God continues His ministry of reconciliation through us.

God’s first question shows us the heart of God–that even after a cosmic rebellion such as Adam and Eve’s, God turned around and began to seek after them, offering a covering for their sin and working to draw them back to Himself.

God’s second question shows us His wisdom. It gives us as humans the focus that we need to come into a saving knowledge of Him. First, it focuses us on Jesus Christ, the only name by which we can be saved. He is also the center of the universe from creation to maintenance to culmination. Secondly, the question goes deep into our hearts, forcing us to make the eternal life-or-death decision on Who this Person is. Is this just a Man, a Great Teacher, or is He Messiah, Savior, and God-in-flesh? Our answer to that question is the single most important question He poses to us.

Prayer: Father, thank You for pursuing us when we turned away. Thank You for still pursuing me when I turn away from You. Help me to know the answer to Your second question more deeply and personally every year.

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