You want to share with people about Jesus, but ever want to know what their main questions will be first? Where should you even start looking for answers for yourself?
I wondered the same thing, so I asked Google. Here are some quick answers to the top three questions that people ask Google starting with the words, “Why did Jesus…” Some questions on people’s minds may not be what you expect.
#3: Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?
This question surprised me when it came in 3rd place for most-asked “Why did Jesus…” questions.
In Matthew 21:18-19, it says, “Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
I love this verse. The poor man was HANGRY! He just wanted some food after a long day of being the Messiah. His favorite place runs out of food, so He curses it. Such a man-move. Pretty simple and straightforward, right?
In the Bible, the fig tree was often a symbol for the people of Israel, i.e, believers. Fig trees generally produce leaves and fruit at the same time. To see a fig tree with leaves but no fruit would have been weird. Kind of like if you see a churchgoer who openly says they are Christian, but you see no evidence of faith in their life.
Oh … that got deep.
This story was a symbol for Israel and the Pharisees, who were meant to be God’s chosen people representing Him to the world. At first, they looked as though they had been set apart for God, but they had no fruit of Him in their lives. They merely deceived people with their hypocrisy.
Do you see why Jesus would be mad at that?
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#2: Why did Jesus die?
Probably the greatest question of all humanity! And I’m happy to see it as a top question on Google!
The natural answer is that He was condemned by the Israeli religious leaders for breaking their laws and “blaspheming” by saying He was God. In John 10:31, it says that Jesus proclaimed, “The Father and I are one. The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. … They replied, ‘We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.’”
Any man who claimed to be equal with God deserved to die, according to the religious leaders of the time. But we, as Christians, know there is a much deeper reason why Jesus died. He died so we could live.
When Adam and Eve chose to sin, it severed their connection with God. To break the connection with Him is to break the connection to life. This is why there is now tragedy, sickness, pain, and death in this world; it’s because the world chose to remain out of sync with the One who could give life purpose, joy, and meaning.
God is all-loving and does not want his children to experience eternal death (meaning separation from their good Father in this life and the next). But God is also holy — a perfect Judge — so He cannot do anything unjust or be around anything sinful. So there must be a consequence of sin. There must be perfect justice.
Then how does a God of perfect love — who wants to restore our connection to Him — also stay perfectly just? The answer is Jesus. By offering Himself in death as the consequence sin, He took all our punishment upon Himself. ALL of it for ALL of us. By so doing, He cleaned our slate and bridged that connection between us and God again.
John 3:15-16: “… so the Son of Man must be lifted up (endure death on the Cross), so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
#1: Why did Jesus weep?
To my surprise, this was the number-one question that came up in the “Why did Jesus…” research. With over 2,900 searches a month on Google, many people seem to wonder what made Jesus cry?
The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35: “Jesus wept.” But why?
In the passage, we find that one of Jesus’ best friends — Lazarus — died, and Jesus was going to his grave to raise him back to life. Lazarus’ sister Mary came to Him, and the Bible says in John 11:33: “When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled.” It then says He began to weep, and the crowd said, “Wow, see how much He loved him.”
The short, shallow answer was that Jesus was in pain from the death of His dear friend. I love that we serve an emotional God who isn’t afraid to show His pain.
Jesus, though He knew He would raise Lazarus back to life, was pained by the loss. Humans were never meant to experience death and suffering. God hates to see people in pain, so much so that it causes Him immense pain to watch it.
The pain of grief can be the worst kind of pain we can encounter. It goes against our original design! As we said before, pain, death, and grief are all consequences of sin and separation from God.
At this moment, Jesus felt the pain caused by death, the pain of the broken connection. He felt angry at sin and the devil. He, though He is God, felt what we feel, but amplified! Even though He knew the story would end with the joy of new life and Lazarus’ resurrection, He let Himself feel the moment and broke down crying.
What does this tell us about letting ourselves feel (and not stuffing) emotions?
For a super in-depth great answer to this question, read the entire article on John Piper’s blog, “Desiring God”
Hope these answers helped you with at least the top three “Why did Jesus…” questions! I encourage you to look up all ten and do your own research on what people want to know about Jesus!