Like a loving Father, God is never threatened by sincere questions. Sometimes He replies like He did to Job that His answer is beyond our comprehension. Other times, He may reply politely that it’s “none of our business” like Jesus did to His followers on the Mount of Olives when they wanted to know about the date the kingdom of God would arrive.
But God responds differently to insincere questions that are designed to excuse our rebellion and unbelief. We see that truth illustrated in Jesus’ response to three questions the religious leaders used to “Stump the Messiah” during the last week of Jesus’ life. In Luke 20:1-40, Jesus answers their questions regarding His identity, the role of government, marriage, and Heaven.
How Jesus responded when He was in the hot seat shows us how we as Christians should answer tough questions from others. If you are a faithful follower of Christ, you will take your turn in the hot seat, as well.
Jesus made that prediction in Luke 21:12-13: “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.”
So how do you respond when you find yourself in the hot seat?
1. Be Mindful
Be mindful of those who may be listening to your response. Why did Jesus bother to answer the questions of insincere leaders who only wanted to trip Him? Because there were also others in the audience listening, as well.
The reason I spend time answering obnoxious questions in the media from interviewers is not because I think I’m going to convert them, but there are many other listening – just as there are people in your school or in your work place or who are attending the same meeting you’re in who need to hear from God’s Word.
2. Be Biblical
Jesus’ authority came from God the Father, which is why Jesus continually used God’s Word – the Old Testament – as the basis for many of His answers. We should do the same.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword . . . and able to judge the thoughts and the intentions of the heart.”
God’s Word has the power to penetrate a person’s heart much more than our words. I’ve heard people say, “No one can argue with God’s Word.” Trust me, they can. But at least they know they are wrestling with God’s Word when you make it the basis of your answers.
3. Be Courageous
Jesus knew that within a few days these religious leaders would instigate the charge that would lead to His crucifixion, but Jesus did not flinch in fear. Unlike the Sadducees, Jesus believed in the resurrection. That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 10:28: “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell.”
As a Christian, you do not need to fear anyone, which is why you can courageously stand for Christ. No one on this earth can do anything to you of lasting consequence. Living your life for an audience of One, the only One who controls your eternal destiny, is the key to keeping your cool when you find yourself in the hot seat.