One question governs Jesus’ interactions and work. It boils down complex theological questions to their essence. It gives practical guidance for how to go forward.
Jesus’ burning question is “What does God want?”.
It is his prayer. Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”(Matt 6:10). As he prays for God’s will to be done, it is only natural that he then proceeds to do God’s will himself. He prays for God’s will to be done even over his own (Matt 26:39). In prayer, we remind ourselves of the central question: What does God want?
It is his mission. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me”(John 6:38). So many of Jesus’ statements of his mission—to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), to lay down his life (John 10:17-18), and to serve rather than be served (Mark 10:45)—are directly tied to the Father’s will. Every action is filtered through the lens of his mission. What does God want?
It is his standard for judgment. “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me”(John 5:30). There are judgments we must make about life, potential actions, and other people. The only way to ensure proper judgment is to ask the question: What does God want?
It is his passion. “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work”(John 4:34). God’s will drives Jesus. It fills and sustains him. When Jesus forces the moneychangers out of the temple, he asks, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?”(Mark 11:17). He is adamant that those who buy and sell in the temple ask themselves the question: What does God want?
If we adopt this question, it will help us. It is an aid to our Bible study, helping us zero in on the key issue in any text. It will help our daily interactions, where discernment is needed to decide the best actions. It will give assurance that we are living in the will of God. It will strengthen us in times of temptation.
In Scripture we have access to the will of God, revealed and expressed in terms we can understand (2 Tim 3:16-17). Let’s make Jesus’ burning question our burning question. What does God want?