When Moody Radio’s program Open Line goes on air, we don’t always know what will happen.
The live, call-in program provides a way for listeners to ask their most puzzling biblical questions. One day, a woman asked: “Where in the Bible does it say that Sunday is the day for Christians to worship?” A man queried, “Does the Bible have an opinion about the treatment of animals?”
The program provides an open forum for listeners to ask honest and sometimes difficult questions about God and the Bible. Host Dr. Michael Rydelnik—one of our Moody faculty—explores each issue, often referencing Scripture in his answers. It is clear that we have plenty to ask about why and what we believe.
This issue of Today in the Word will consider questions that Jesus asked and answered as recorded in the New Testament. By example, Jesus showed His followers that inquiry is not the enemy of faith. He tackled difficult questions posed by the Pharisees and even His disciples. He answered their inquiries by quoting Scripture, telling parables, or even by responding with follow-up questions.
One day, a Pharisee named Nicodemus came to Jesus with questions. He addressed the question pressing on his heart and puzzling his mind, “How can a man be born when he is old?” (John 3:5). Jesus answered Nicodemus, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?” (v. 10). Their conversation continued as Jesus explained to Nicodemus the difference between earthly and heavenly things.
Their conversation shows how difficult it is for our earthly minds to comprehend what is spiritual. Our questions are often a necessary part of understanding our faith. And as the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus demonstrates, turning to God with our deepest questions can be life-changing.
Jesus did not reject or dismiss difficult questions. As the Son of God, Jesus was not posing questions to learn the answer. Rather, He desired to engage people, allowing them to reflect, struggle, and discover truth. His questions revealed His identity, and His answers transformed the lives of His disciples, His enemies, and others. Jesus asked questions that demanded a personal answer. People listened, heard, and some believed. Jesus used questions as a way to disciple and to teach.
To Peter, He asked: “Who do people say that I am?” (Mark 8:27). Jesus was not asking Peter for the latest gossip. Instead, He was pushing His disciples to know and articulate what He had been teaching them. He was the Son of God, come to die, rise again, and offer eternal salvation. Jesus used questions to help us see that He is the ultimate answer—the Son of the living God.