by | Oct 1, 2021 | Faithfulness, Trust

“And Pharisees came up and in order to test Him asked ….” (Mark 10:2a ESV)

We get this a lot in the Gospels. Someone comes up to Jesus and asks Him some hard question in order to “test Him.” But what does that mean? Is it a bad thing to do?

You’d sort of think so, given that most of the people doing it are acting like enemies. We hardly ever hear about someone saying, “Good answer, Jesus!” even when it’s clear to all the listeners that Jesus has said something incredibly wise. Mark 12:32 is about the only case I can think of, where a scribe appreciates what Jesus says about the most important commandment. All the other questioners seem to disappear from the story—they slink out, and some of them even conspire to kill Him. This is the kind of testing that has a bad heart behind it—and it’s the kind of thing God forbids when He says, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Deuteronomy 6:16a ESV).

But then there’s the other kind of testing—the kind that you do when you’re about to put your foot on a rock, and you put a little weight on it first, to make sure it’s solid. The kind of testing you do when you think you’ve got a piece of gold, but you’re not totally sure yet. When you test like this, you aren’t trying to hurt anybody. You’re trying to find out the truth, so you can move forward. And that is the testing that God encourages when He says, “Put Me to the test” (Malachi 3:10b ESV). That is what He asks us to do when He says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8a ESV).

Jesus wants us to test Him in this way—to put our weight on Him, and discover how stable He is. To check what He says and does, and discover that He is the pure, true gold, with no falsehood mixed in. Testing in this way results in a stronger, happier faith—because we see, day after day as we trust Him more and more, that Jesus is indeed telling us the truth. He really does have the power to save us to the uttermost—because He is the One who has died for us and risen again, to be our Savior forever (see Hebrews 7:25).

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to discover Your trustworthiness every day of my life. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved” on your website. 

Reflection Questions:
1. What examples of good testing can you think of from your life?
2. When have you been tested and come out of it stronger and better?
3. When have you seen God tested, and discovered how trustworthy He is?