I’ve always been fascinated with the questions of Jesus. It occurred to me that if Jesus was asking a question, it must be an important one. Contrary to some common assumptions, Jesus is not the ultimate Answer Man, but more like the Great Questioner. In the Gospels Jesus asks many more questions than he answers. To be precise, Jesus asks 307 questions. He is asked 183 of which he only answers 3! Asking questions was central to Jesus’ life and teachings. In fact, for every question he answers directly he asks—literally—a hundred.
I realize that in the culture in which Jesus lived, asking questions was a method of learning, but Jesus always knew the answers. Yes the original questions were for the audience He was speaking to, but they are also for us today. Jesus asks questions so that we would dig deep and understand our response. Through Jesus’ questions, he modeled the struggle, the wondering, the thinking it through that helps us draw closer to God and better understand, not just the answer, but ourselves. In fact, depending on our response, Jesus questions could be life-changing questions.
I think that is a really significant to understand how we learn from God. It’s not about waiting for answers, but, rather, we learn by daring to follow the questions God stirs in our hearts.
From the earliest times of the human experience, religion presented God to mankind in the form of an exclamation point; when Christ entered the world, he bent the presentation of God into a question mark. Jesus loved questions. We should, too.
The starting point of organized religion is answers. But walking away from religion, while maintaining your faith in God, sends you on a very different path. It is no longer a starting point of answers, but continual journey of questions. Each question draws you into a greater understanding of God. Also, at the same time, each question leads you into a deeper acceptance of the mystery of God, and a greater peace within all that you don’t know.
Questions and faith are not opposed to one another, but rather can be thought of as a perfect pair. We could even say that faith is more accurately measured by the courage within our questions.
As we begin our series on Easter we will start with Jesus’ question after the resurrection, to a group discussing whether a dead person could live again. “Why do doubts rise in your minds?” Luke 24:38. It’s really humorous. When we know someone is dead, and someone else says they came back from death, the natural thing to do is doubt! But as always with Jesus, there is so much more than appears on the surface. Jesus’ point isn’t to belittle or put the doubters in “time out’ but to get them a deeper understanding of what’s really going on. Join us on Easter and discover that doubt is not the end of faith but actually the beginning!
Then we will address the question Jesus asks, “Why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. Are you able to be that honest with God? Can you share your vulnerability, hurt and disillusionment? God welcomes it and Jesus models it. Join us and learn its ok to hurt and question God while seeking to understand why.
Another question we will examine is, “Why are you afraid?” Mark 4:40. Again this humorous considering our human emotions when being tossed about by 20 foot waves! Join us and learn that there is a purpose in each storm we face and that Jesus is there with us.
Then we’ll grapple with Jesus question, “Why do you play games with me? Mark 12: 15. Wrestling with questions like, “What about paying taxes to a corrupt and violent government you don’t agree with?” Join us for this question and others that move people with great emotion.
The last question that we will examine is, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6. Are you stuck in an addiction, sickness or seemingly hopeless situation? Join us and be encouraged that change can occur regardless of how long we’ve been stuck.
The question’s Jesus asks are not accusatory or hostile, they are not focused on our sins or failures. Rather, they are questions rooted in compassion and love, calling upon our deepest desires, the best God would have for us. They are questions full of hope.
I hope you can join us for the Jesus Questions.