Have you noticed that arguments are frequently won or lost at the very beginning of the exchange; at the framing of the question? If I get to establish the approach to the question, and continue to dictate the terms of the discussion, I will probably win the argument. That's why you'll often hear an interviewee on television answer a different question than the one that was asked. They prefer to frame the question and dictate the terms of the discussion. Hard sell sales people use the same approach.
When we observe the crucifixion of Christ as described by Matthew's gospel, we see a variety of people talking to Jesus. Some said, "If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross." Others challenged, "Come down now from the cross and we will believe in you." And, "He's God's Son, so let God rescue him." Most of them thought that to authenticate His claim to Messiahship and deity, He should save Himself.
You see what they're doing? "We'll set the terms, and if you comply, then we'll believe in you." "We'll accept you as God if you'll defer to our terms." Now, does that even make sense? If God, by definition, is the Supreme Being, then He does not defer to anyone. If God is sovereign creator and sustainer of life, then life is lived on His terms not mine. This is the primary problem that people have with accepting Jesus as Lord. Lordship means Jesus gets to frame the question; Jesus gets to dictate the terms.
The fools at the foot of the cross didn't understand the purpose of the cross. Jesus was dying to save their souls. If they understood the question, they would never have asked Him to come down. Jesus didn't live His life on man's terms for man's shallow desires according to man's myopic view of the world. Jesus lived and died and rose again to open our eyes to the expansive dimensions of life on God's terms.
Many have re-framed the life and teachings of Jesus to make Him more palatable. We just want a God we can manage. We want a God that doesn't challenge or threaten us. We want to fit neatly and comfortably into our God's parameters, so we shape Him rather than make changes in ourselves.
Jesus said, "I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father accept through Me."
You can challenge His terms. You can ask a different question.
Or you can bow down and worship Him.
Pray: Jesus, You are God and I am not. I defer to You. Help me to see that Your way is the best way. It is the way of discipline and of sacrifice, and some suffering. But it is the only way to anything abundant and joyful and eternal. Thank you for Your death, which opened the door to that blessed life for all who believe.