Often our journey with Christ is like this snowy roadway, uncertain and slippery. We seek certainty and God gives us surprises and questions.
This morning in our Men’s Bible Study as we read Mark 2 and 3 together, I was struck by how many questions Jesus asked:
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? Mark 2:9
The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? Mark 2:19
Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to kill? Mark 3:4
How can Satan cast out Satan? Mark 3:23
Who are my mother and my brothers? Mark 3:33
I realized that several of these questions are rhetorical in nature. Jesus answered them himself in short order. Still he asked questions to push and to prod his listeners to think about their faith, to consider how their faith in God impacted their lives. The questions are something that we as readers of the gospel should take seriously.
As a pastor I am often asked questions by congregants about current theological issues. Such as, “Must someone confess Jesus Christ as Lord in order to go to heaven?” or “Is the Bible literally true when it says _________________?” I sometime like being the expert, the answer man. It seems to gives me a certain status or recognition. However there is a danger if I answer too quickly. I can possibly cut off the conversation one is having with God, wrestling with the question. The “chewing” on the question can push us to deeper trust and faith in God.
Jesus seemed to recognize this, often answering a question with a question. Clearly he was the “expert” who knew the answer, but he sought a deeper trust relationship with the questioner and also with us, the modern reader. He showed us that his path is not like a superhighway, but more often a winding path on a winter’s day.
So pay attention to the questions Jesus asked by asking yourself, “What is Jesus trying to teach me?”
Lord Jesus, help me not to settle for easy answers, but to trust you to guide my wandering journey.
P.S. Andy Young is my nephew in Seattle and has a great photo slide show on Facebook.