Better questions

Luke 13:22-31
There’s no such thing as a stupid question. That’s what they’ve told us. My experience, though, says stupid questions abound. But I don’t want to be harsh. So, for now, let’s keep believing stupid questions don’t exist. Let’s say some people ask misguided questions. Or uninformed questions.

In scripture, Jesus seems to rarely answer what people ask him. At least, not in a here’s-a-simple-answer-to-your-question way. A lot of that is a teaching style. I’ll admit, I’m afraid to offer responses like Jesus. People want simple answers. If you don’t give them one, it feels like you don’t know what you’re saying. They want quick, easy-to-understand responses. They want to know if you’re on their side of an issue. Or if they can count on you to be a source of information.

Jesus didn’t fall for that. I can’t help but wonder how many times he thought he was dealing with these kinds of questions.

Once, as he was teaching, someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” Now, we don’t know who was asking or why. Were they trying to make themselves feel better? Were they worried they wouldn’t be part of the few? Did they want Jesus to verify something they already believed?

There’s no way to tell.

All we have is what Jesus said in response. He didn’t offer a yes or a no. He didn’t ask for a clarification. He said, “Strive to enter through the narrow door” (Luke 13:24). Jesus didn’t allow the question to dictate to him anything. Rather, he reemphasized what was most important to him. Let’s say only a few are saved. Well, pay attention to the narrowness of the door before it shuts. If more than a few are saved, well, pay attention to the narrowness of the door before it shuts.

Have you ever felt like we Christians often focus on the wrong questions? Misguided questions? And yes, sometimes, stupid questions?

I have.

What’s most disheartening is when keep asking those kinds of questions, we lose sight of more important ones. We try to fill the narrow door with so much that doesn’t help us find our way through it. Isn’t that a temptation we should resist? Forcing what’s important to us upon our ministry and mission?

To be sure, Jesus will redirect our attention. If we’ll listen and pay attention, and ask better questions, we’ll notice what is most important to him.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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