By Andrew Stroud
Nobel prize winner, Isidor I. Rabi, was once asked by a friend, how he came to be a scientist. In answering the question, Rabi replied that when his mother would talk to him about his school day, she wasn’t so much interested in what he had learned that day, but she always inquired, “Did you ask a good question today?” According to Rabi, “Asking good questions made me a scientist.”
Good questions make more than scientists; I’m convinced they produce Christians. The accounts of individuals, such as Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel and others, who by their own admission set out to disprove Christianity, remind us that their good questions led them on a journey seeking truth which brought them to a faith in Jesus, who is the Truth. Essentially for them, “Asking good questions made them a Christian.”
Scripture also confirms this assertion that good questions can ultimately lead to a Christian experience. The Philippian jailer asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” That good question, answered by Paul and Silas, made all the difference in the jailer’s life.
Some time ago while reading the events surrounding the Easter story, another good question caught my attention. The scene surrounding the question was the Passover celebration. Thousands of people had gathered inside the city of Jerusalem. The inns were packed, the market was crowded, and the temple line was long. Reading this brief description, you can almost see, hear, and feel the buzz of activity as the people converged on the city to both remember and celebrate their ancestor’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage.
It is during this celebration that the good question, to which I am referring, is asked. The question is asked above the loud commotion that is happening down on Main Street. It is there that a multitude of people have gathered and are shouting as someone enters the city limits riding a donkey. The question can be heard above the ringing chants of “Hosanna to the King” and “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew records the scene and the question for us when he writes, “all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?” (Mt. 21:10)
What a good question! Charles Spurgeon wrote that this question “is a proper, profitable, personal, pressing question.” And then he challenges his reader to “make this inquiry concerning Jesus, and never rest till he knows the answer.”
There is an answer to the crowd’s question and it is revealed to us in Luke 19:10 when Jesus declared, “…the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Consider three vital truths in answer to the crowd’s question.
Truth #1 – He is the Christ who Steps into the World of Lost Humanity.
We see this truth in the first phrase, “the Son of man is come…” As we pause to reflect on this opening phrase, we are reminded that Jesus stepped into our sin-ravaged world. The invasion of Deity into time and space is the glory of Christmas that we celebrate. And human history has been forever changed because God stepped from the throne room of heaven to the footstool of earth. “Who is this?” the crowd asked. He is the Son of God who became flesh and dwelled among us.
Truth #2 – He is the Christ who Searches for Lost Humanity.
The mission statement continues, “The Son of Man is come to seek…” This truth is beautifully portrayed for us in Luke chapter 4. In this passage, Jesus Himself fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy and declares that He is sent to the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, the blind and the bruised. What accurate descriptions of mankind! Jesus left the glory of Heaven that He might seek the lost. The multitude yelled, “Who is this?” He is the seeking Son of God!
Truth #3 – He is the Christ who Saves Lost Humanity.
The mission statement finally concludes with “The Son of Man is come to…save that which was lost.” The Apostle Paul writing to his spiritual son Timothy echoes the words and mission of Jesus when he writes, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Yes, Jesus stepped into our world as a babe in Bethlehem, and yes, He sought for lost humanity, but there was more; Jesus was born to die. And on that crucifixion day when in agony He cried out on the cross, “it is finished,” the wrath of God was satisfied, the price for sin was paid, the atonement was completed. Three days later, proving He was indeed the Son of God, He arose from the dead conquering death, hell and the grave that we too might be victorious over sin and have abundant life. On that crowded street the people asked, “Who is this?” The answer rings out loud and clear; He is the Savior of all mankind.
Still today, the good question “Who is this” is being asked by many who are seeking for answers. What a responsibility… what an opportunity we have to share the answer—that Jesus came into the world to seek and to save those who are lost. That answer will forever change the heart of all who believe.
What a great question! But greater still, what an ANSWER!