Mark 12:18

How to Talk to a Skeptic If You Must

 

Read:

“. . . they began questioning Him, saying,” Mark 12:18

 

Reflect:

Jesus is not interested in carrying on a dialogue with those who don’t believe. Mark does not describe the reaction of the Sadducees to Jesus’ argument. He makes no mention that they were shocked, surprised or moved. No doubt they remained skeptical and hardened. Most do not come to faith through arguments and proof. As believers, we are not going to argue another into salvation. Nevertheless, the church must present reasoned arguments for faith and counter false views.

Christians find themselves on the same battlefield and caught in the same crossfire as their Savior. Empty formal religion on one side and unbelief on the other. We must be prepared for attacks from both sides. And we must respond properly and with our words laced with grace. 

Maintain clarity in the confusion.

The question posed by the Sadducees was not a real scenario. They contrived and designed it to trip Jesus up and make Him look foolish. All they cared about was to try to embarrass Jesus as He taught. Unbelievers will invent elaborate, unfair circumstances to trip you up in your witness and words. Remember, Christianity offers a promise not found anywhere else. 

Move content into the controversy.

Jesus pushes the Sadducees toward the content simply by saying, “have you not read?”

We must work to turn the conversation to the facts of Christianity. Many who claim they don’t believe the Bible have never read it! They have not examined the very foundations of Christianity.

Make a call to the conscience.

Much of the bravado displayed by non-believers is nothing but fake swagger. The same ones who talk with disdain have a conscience, know they are wrong, and are under deep conviction. We may always appeal confidently to the part of the individual that speaks and hears undefiled truth, where God is understood.

There is a place for honest straightforward words. We live in a world of tolerance and indifference; we are tentative when we should be strong.

 

Respond:

Today, may I be clear, correct and courageous with your message.