This little article, in fact this whole summer of articles, goes out to those of us who feel like we always have a head full of questions.
Questions about God.
Questions about ourselves.
Questions about our lives.
Questions about what those three things really have to do with one another.
Yep, if that sounds familiar- our summer Q&A series is all for you.
Did you know that Jesus loves questions? Seriously. In the Gospels (the four books in the Bible that tell us all about his life) people ask him 187 questions, while he asks 307. He questions strangers, he questions his closest friends and family, he questions himself, he questions God- constantly.
What does that tell you about Jesus, our Jesus? Because he was Jesus, right? In a way that we’ll never be able to fully get our heads around, he isn’t just a man- he is also God. So, I doubt he was walking around clueless, wondering what he was supposed to be doing and why. I don’t think he constantly needed people to be telling him what was going on.
So, why all the questions? I’m wondering if maybe he asked so many of them to let us know that he doesn’t mind our questions, our confusion, or our doubts.
He is the kindest person in existence, after all.
Having a faith isn’t about having all the answers. Did you know that? You don’t have to have everything figured out, you don’t have to pretend you never have doubts, worries or confusion. You don’t need to hide your questions from God, worrying that he’ll be disappointed or think that you don’t trust him enough. That’s not who God is, that’s not how he works. He loves you way too much for that.
He’d take our honest questions over our fake certainties any day. Let me to prove it to you…
There’s a guy in the Bible called John the Baptist. Ever heard of him? He was Jesus’ cousin, and he was chosen by God to tell people that Jesus was on the way. A pretty cool mission, right? And John was great at it. He was so confident; he was so sure. His faith was contagious, he got so many people excited about the fact that Jesus was about to burst onto the scene.
And yet, there’s this little scene; it’s just a couple of years after we see John boldly shouting about Jesus to anyone who would listen. We see that John has been thrown in prison, totally unfairly. And he asks his closest friends to go and ask Jesus a heartbreakingly raw question- ‘Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?’ (Matthew 11:3)
John doesn’t seem so sure now, does he? He doesn’t seem so certain, so faith-filled, so confident. He asks Jesus a question that must have been so scary and painful to ask- he’s basically asking- are you who I thought you were, Jesus? Have I got you all wrong? Was I right to believe in you?
Jesus, of course, was and still is everything John thought he was and so much more. And Jesus tells him so. But then Jesus says something else, something which makes me want to cry every time I read it. After being asked this question by John, Jesus turns to the crowd who were following him and says, ‘Truly I tell you, there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist’ (11:11).
It’s after John has been vulnerable, it’s after he has asked Jesus the most painful question, it’s after he has voiced his doubts that Jesus declares how proud of him he is.
(No, I’m totally not tearing up while writing this.)
You know, Jesus welcomes your questions in exactly the same way. When you send your questions upward, an answer is one thing, but the pride and love that Jesus shouts over you is even better.
So- this summer is about us, at GGF, doing two things:
- Answering some of your questions, because it turns out that we’ve asked them ourselves too.
- Reminding you that your questions, when thrown in God’s direction, are some of his favourite things.