Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jesus Asks, Knowing

There are just so many things I love about Jesus and the way He lived. This is another one:

He wasn't afraid to ask questions.

I'm not talking about the antagonistic, fishing questions He is best known for. I'm not talking about the way He often answered questions with questions, although that is certainly a valuable way to interact with someone who thinks they are teaching the Teacher. I'm not talking about the opportunities He gives Peter and the other disciples to affirm His identity or confirm their faith. I'm talking about this, from Luke 2:46 - 

Three days later, they found him in the temple courtyard. He was sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions.

And I guess when I read this passage, I don't get the impression of Jesus that we see later in the Gospels, who asks questions in order to catch persons (mostly Pharisees) in their own logical fallacies and spiritual webs. One of the reasons maybe that my mind doesn't go to that is that in this case, the teachers have not sought Jesus; He has sought them. It would be inconsistent with His personality for Him to seek out the temple in order to prove His own competence and authority. It would be arrogant and self-serving, and Jesus was neither. So I have to believe as He sat in the temple courtyard, His questions were pure.

Which is interesting because He had all the answers. Right? Jesus knew everything there was to know. He not only knew the Scriptures, He was the Scriptures. There was no question He could have asked to which He did not know the answers, and in fact, we know that He answered some of the questions because Luke goes on to say that His understanding and His answers impressed all who were present.

So if His questions were pure - that is, if He wasn't setting the teachers up to fail and wasn't setting Himself up for glory - and yet He purely had no questions and yet He also sat answering those questions, what are we to make a Jesus who asks anyway?

It's this: He's inviting us into the conversation. That's what He's doing, just as God has always done with His people. He's inviting us to be a part of His developing and unfolding theology, which makes Him a loving and compassionate God, a personable God, and a collaborative God.

It makes me love what He's doing in this world.

Because now, God is not this omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent control freak getting things to go just His own perfect way, but He's a collaborator. He's one measure of input with the vision to take us where He wants to go, but He's not so bogged down by His own agenda that He can't give us the freedom to see another scene and then figure out how we synthesize the two. 

It makes me love what He's doing in me.

Because all of a sudden, I am not this being that God created and purposed and destined, which we think is such a nice thought. But in truth, I am a being who is still being created, with mutual input from my heart and my God and now, I feel like a player in my own story, which is woven into God's story, which makes me a willing, conscious player in God's story. I love what that does to the way that I live, the way that I serve, the way that I love.

So I like a Jesus who asks purely without any pure questions because I embrace the invitation to conversation. I love that He would let me in on it.

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