On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he (Jesus) replied. “How do you read it?” He (the expert in the law) answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-28)
I once made the mistake of answering the question, “What day of the week do you celebrate the Sabbath on?” I got an earful because the person asking the question was a Seventh Day Adventist. Instead of answering the question, I should have asked, “What day do you celebrate the Sabbath on?” When he answered, “Saturday,” I would have agreed that that’s a wonderful day to celebrate the Sabbath on because I’m quite sure God doesn’t care which day we celebrate. Though we’re told it’s not polite to answer a question with a question, Jesus does. It’s appropriate when someone’s trying to test or judge us.
People often ask Christians questions so they can criticize us. Examples are: “Do you believe the world was created in six days? Do you believe that women or homosexuals should be priests? If we answer these questions, an argument is likely to follow. This scripture tells us this Pharisee is testing Jesus, so He replies with a question. The Pharisee, in fact, knew the answer to the question he was asking. Inheriting eternal life can be summarized in two words, God’s love.
Heavenly Father, know that I love you with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. Thank you for loving me too. Help me discern when someone wants to argue, so I can choose my words carefully and show them Your unconditional love. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.