STRENGTH FOR THE WEEK: Flood Church’s Weekly Devotional
SERIES 1: The Voice of God
A Rhetorical Voice
“Do you not yet understand?” – Matthew 8:21
Why would an all-knowing God need to ask a question?
A rhetorical question is asked in order to produce an effect or make an assertion. It is not asked in order to solicit a reply. Rhetorical questions can be frustrating because when we come across them in every day life, they often feel annoying. A parent might look at a child with chocolate smeared all over his lips and face and ask, “Did you eat the chocolate bar?” A boy might ask a girl out on a date and the girl might reply, “You didn’t possibly think I would say yes did you?” These questions have obvious answers and feel belittling.
Other rhetorical questions are annoying because they have no answer. A parent might ask a child, “How many more times am I going to have to tell you to stop writing on the walls of our house?” A couple of friends might get in an argument about something and one might say, “Well how was I supposed to know that?” These questions are asked out of frustration and not because one is searching for truth or resolution.
Jesus on the other hand uses rhetorical questions to stimulate growth, produce change, and call us to action. When Jesus was planning to feed the 4,000 people in Mark 8:5, he asks his disciples, “How many loaves do you have?” This rhetorical question, one Jesus knew the answer to, kept his disciples involved and engaged in solving the problem. A little further we read from Jesus, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?” He asks this question in order to show passion, in order to shock his disciples into having passion and paying attention to what really matters.
The next time we hear a question from Jesus, do not try and provide him with information he already knows. Ask yourself, what is it that Jesus is trying to do and say in my life through this question. What are some ways you have answered Jesus lately? What are some questions you hear Jesus wanting to ask you? We would love to hear them in the comments section. Throughout our week let’s be people that ask questions not to shame, or frustrate, or belittle. Let’s ask questions that inspire, involve, help, impassion, and reach people’s hearts, because that is what Jesus does.
Keep the Faith