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Beautiful Words Blog | Be Careful What You Ask For By Pastor John Moropoulos | Gateway Christian Fellowship


Mark 15.32

There is no shortage of tragedy in the accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion. Were it not for the

resurrection the entire event would be just that, tragic. So saying one example stands out is risky. But some things do a particularly strong sense of the tragic, at least from the human perspective. The High Priests’ mockery is one. Their taunt, “come down from the cross that we might believe in You,” really catches the eye.

In the first place Mark describes the High Priests’ words as ὁμοίως or “in the same manner” as the blasphemy of the two thieves. The Priests’ mockery went beyond childish ridicule and even derision, to blasphemy. The same religious authorities who had railed against Jesus’ claims to deity, finding in it the very reason for crucifixion, now defile the Son of God with words that leave them wholly liable to the very same charge. The difference of course was that Jesus’ claims were absolutely true. He is the One Who could say, “Before Abraham was, I Am,” and “I and the Father are One.” The Chief Priests’ words and deeds were incorrect and took blasphemy to a new level.

Among the mocking, blasphemous words the religious rulers hurled at Jesus was the challenge, “Christ, King of the Jews, come down from the cross so that we may see and believe.”

Let’s consider what the consequences of their request would have been. If Jesus comes down, of His power, from the cross, there is a tremendous demonstration of power but no salvation for humanity. The words “It is finished” are not uttered and the substitutionary death that frees all humanity from the eternal consequences of sin doesn’t happen.

So the death of the Savior, the very thing the religious experts called on the Savior to avoid, was the very thing they, as we, need most. If Jesus does what they ask, their demands are met, the Son proves to their satisfaction that He is the Christ, the Messiah, but the very thing Jesus came to accomplish would remain undone. Satisfying their request for a demonstration of power would have left them and us eternally lost.

How often do we ask things of our Lord that, if granted to us, would not be what we really need. Some of the things we ask for are even counter to what we really need.

In the early years of my Christian walk I asked the lord to heal my color blindness. To people with normal color perception color blindness is a mystery. “What do you mean, you can’t see color?” I can see colors. I just see them in a weird way. It really doesn’t directly impact my life all that much. What it did however was to limit my life choices. A color blind person is told what they can’t do more than not be able to do things. It was maddening to see the many options that I could have pursued simply disappear because somebody said my colorblindness made it impossible. But the very fact that I had those options taken away from me was part of my life being directed to what I am able to do. I wouldn’t trade the privilege of studying and teaching God’s Word for any other career.

I know many people have asked things of God that are far more serious than my problem with reds and purples, oranges and yellows, green and browns. Many have come before Him with matters of crushing significance. And when the answer has been “no” it really hurts.

What I am not saying is that every time God does not give us the answer to a prayer “it’s for our good.” The matter of life’s challenges and the way God responds to prayer is far more complicated than that. That cannot be overstated. Our prayers and God’s answers are a mystery that challenges our very understanding of Who He is. It challenges us to faith.

But there are those times, at least there have been for me, when the reason for the “no” was that I simply wasn’t asking for the right thing.

So we keep on asking, and waiting, and trusting. We ask because He has told us to. We wait because that is what faith requires, and we trust because He is worthy of our trust, regardless of the answer.

And we thank Him for His goodness whatever the answer is.


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