Questions, Questions, Questions — Why more questions?
Matthew 21: 23-32 (NRSV)
23 When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
28 “What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.
As you pass through the verses, chapters and books in the four gospels it is easy to be confounded by Jesus, because so often when he is asked a question he answers with a question. And this led the disciples, and of course leads us, to ask “Why more questions!?”
The example of Christ is worth thinking about, because it is not just about the questions themselves and the answers they explain, but the nature of always asking questions.
Our life of faith is not a simple exercise of learning things by rote. It is not about a set of beliefs or creeds that we can simply call up on our phone when we have a problem. The life of faith, as a co-creator in the world with the creator of all things, is a relationship and a response to and with the people of this planet and the rest of creation.
We have been given example and explanation through all of the Old and New Testaments to equip us in how we might respond to the challenges we face. We are shown a relationship with God that grows and develops, that asks questions and works out responses, and in our life now we have to do the same.
Questions, questions, questions – why more questions? Because there is always something new to learn, something old to unpack and a relationship in faith to grow and develop.
When I ask – “Why more questions?”
Show me that I am always growing
And needing to learn more of
Hope, justice and love.
Help me to grow with you and for you
So I can reach into the world and share your
hope, justice and love
So your Love is known now.