August 17

Questions with Strange Answers #8

John 6:25-27 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

Jesus wasn’t the only One who asked questions that didn’t match up with the answers. Sometimes He was asked a question He saw fit not to answer.

In John 6, Jesus had just healed many (v.1) and had just fed the five thousand. Assuming a miraculous crossing over the Sea of Galilee, those that followed Him here seemed enamored of the miracles of this rising star, the One who wouldn’t be King. They also seemed to be appreciating the practical advantages of being with a miracle-worker who multiplied food.

Instead of wanting to learn more about Him or why He was doing what He was doing, they approached Him on the level of those wanting to be entertained or served. The question was “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Perhaps they were trying to pin down another miracle (which, ironically, had happened in Jesus’ crossing of the lake) by getting Him to talk about how he got there.

Jesus would have none of it. He skipped over the shallow question and went right to the real issue at hand—their hearts. His answer seems abrupt, and if you stop at v. 26, almost sharply so. Keep reading. Mercy and grace fill the next statement, which highlights a loving God directing even this silly, selfish pursuit of theirs to the important and eternal truth He saw behind it. What they had wanted was a colossal insult to Jesus’ real identity, and their perspective was as worldly and superficial as could be. But the Lord merely used their materialistic perspectives as a springboard to an awareness of real Kingdom riches.

How patient and kind is the Lord! He takes even our silliest of requests and questions and uses them to show us His gifts and His ways.

Prayer: Lord, I confess that sometimes I am shallow and selfish in what I ask You. Thank you for listening, and for answering in ways that lift me up and redirect my eyes to You and Your Kingdom. Help me to hear You when you answer me in ways I’m not expecting based on my questions to You.

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