Thursday, July 17, 2014

I've Got A Question

46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. – Luke 2:46 (NASB95)
"Were we to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, 'What comes into your mind when you think about God?' we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man." – A.W. Tozer
Questions are important. Asking appropriate questions, even more. Asking the right question at the right time. Wow. Light bulb time.

Jesus was a master question asker. At the age of 12, he was found in the temple, “both listening to them (the teachers) and asking them questions. He started early, like most young people. Adults often tire of questions, but it’s questions that reveal the inquisitive mind, one open and ready to learn. It’s also the tool of the master teacher to pry open closed or unthinking minds.

Todd Catteau wrote that most of Jesus’ questions could be organized into one of three categories (“The Questions of Jesus”, Discipleship Journal, Issue 100 (July/August 1997):
● Questions that validated his teaching
● Questions that challenged false ideas
● Questions that deepened faith
Frequently, Jesus made statements of truth, followed by questions designed to cause people to think about how sensible the statements were. Or he would question the standard beliefs people held by getting to think about alternate possibilities. Occasionally, questions dug at what people believed, or challenged their faith in a way designed to deepen it.

We should learn to love questions. Instead, we avoid them. They irritate us. They confuse us. We just don’t want to bother with them. Sometimes, we act as if people shouldn’t ask questions at all. Questions aren’t always easy or comfortable. They do throw us off balance. They betray the reality that we might not know all that we think we know. We don’t like being shown up by a good question.

Still, it’s getting answers to questions that causes us to grow. Jesus didn’t want to merely irritate people. He didn’t want to confuse them. He wanted them to think, to learn, to grow. All of us should want that.

Do you really believe that Jesus is unnerved at our questions? I don’t think so. But I do think he will unnerve us with his questions. We need to learn to love questions. We need to ask them, and we need to consider the ones found in scripture. A good question opens up a world of information.