What Do You Think?

Text: Matthew 22:41-42

One method of teaching involves asking questions. Jesus did this on different occasions. Several times in the book of Matthew, Jesus asked, “What do you think…?” In this lesson, we’re going to look at these examples and see what we can learn from them.

Why Would Jesus Ask This?

  • It is not because truth is subjective – there is one objective standard of truth (John 17:17)
  • It is because He wants us to reason (Isaiah 1:18; Acts 17:2-3) – God wants us to know and be convinced of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Timothy 3:14), not just go along with it; we need to know the truth for ourselves (Romans 14:4-5)

Times When Jesus Asked This Question

From Whom Do Kings Collect Taxes?

  • Question about whether Jesus would pay the tax for the service of the temple (Matthew 17:24-27; cf. Exodus 30:12-16) – some must have thought Jesus would not pay it; Peter insisted that He would
  • Answer – kings do not collect taxes from their own sons
  • Implication – Jesus, as the Son of God, was exempt from taxes for the house of God (John 2:16)
  • Lesson – we should strive not to unnecessarily offend others (1 Corinthians 8:4-13); does not mean we compromise the truth, it means we leave the door open to teach the truth

Will a Man Search for One Missing Sheep?

  • Question about whether a shepherd would search for one missing sheep out of a hundred (Matthew 18:12-14) – the sheep is too valuable to give up as lost; the shepherd cared too much for the sheep
  • Answer – the shepherd goes out to search for the lost sheep
  • Implication – each individual is important to the Lord (John 3:16; Acts 10:34-35; 2 Peter 3:9)
  • Lesson – there is safety in the fold (John 10:27-29); those there must remain, those who left must return, and those outside must be brought in (1 Peter 2:25)

Which Son Did His Father’s Will?

  • Question about which one of two sons obeyed their father (Matthew 21:28-32) – the first son initially said he would not work, but later obeyed; the second son initially promised to work, but did not obey
  • Answer – the son who did what the father asked was the one who obeyed
  • Implication – the tax collectors and prostitutes would enter the kingdom before the chief priests and elders
  • Lesson – our actions are important to back up our words (1 John 3:18) and to correct past sins (Matthew 3:8)

Whose Son Is the Christ?

  • Question about the Christ and whose son He is (Matthew 22:41-46)
  • Answer – the Christ is the son of David
  • Implication – the Christ was more than David’s son, He was also his Lord (Matthew 22:43-44; Acts 2:29-36)
  • Lesson – we need to be willing to change our thinking when it does not harmonize with truth (James 1:21; Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:13)


  • God created us with the ability to think – He has given us His word and expects us to think through it
  • But it is not enough just to know the truth, we must obey it (James 4:17; 1:22)
  • Examine yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5) – What do you think?
  • Are you right before God? – if not, now is the time to change in order to be right with God

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