Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Giving Thanks ~ Day Twelve

When our kids are little, we often enjoy their questions. They are filled with innocence and curiosity about the world and all that is around them. From why is the sky blue to how do flowers grow, we are given opportunities to explain what we know to be true from time, experience, and maturity.

Now when Jesus asks a question, it's a little bit different. He asks because He has a much deeper purpose in getting to the answer. Typically our motives, but sometimes to re-direct our attention.

Over a year ago I started a list of questions Jesus asks. You know, the red letter words that end with a question mark. I didn't finish it because I got distracted and only made it through John 11, without ever having gone to Matthew, Mark, or Luke. Some of my favorites were:

Do you want to be made well? John 5:6

Does this offend you? John 6:61

Do you believe the son of God? John 9:35

Do you believe this? John 11:26

When Jesus asks a question, it's never because He doesn't know the answer, but the question still isn't rhetorical. He's trying to get us to understand something but needs us to acknowledge it first.

Today I was reading Luke 8 and the story of Jesus calming the storm. In verse 25 he asks the disciples, Where is your faith?

I hadn't thought about the list of questions I started late last summer until today. But they are important. The way we answer them reveals so much to us about what we most believe at any given moment.....especially the Who do you say I am? or What do you want me to do for you? questions.

The Where is your faith? question however, startled me into something I didn't realize before. When Jesus asks this question, it's because He knows our faith has been misplaced. Not misplaced like lost, but misplaced like put somewhere it absolutely doesn't belong. In the case of the story where Jesus calms the storm, the disciples were putting their faith in the strength of the storm, waves, and the potential to make them drown more than Jesus' ability to save them.

The problem is that when Jesus does ask us a question, we often avoid it. We don't want to face the reality of our answers or what they reveal has been hidden in our heart. But the questions are purposeful, meaningful, and meant to draw us closer into Him.

Today I'm thankful for the list of questions I started that I haven't thought about. I'm thankful that even though I've avoided most of them, He's never stopped asking them. And I'm thankful that by answering them, I can let Him address what I have accepted as truth that isn't as truthful as I have thought.

So, if Jesus were to sit across the table from each of us today over a nice hot cup of coffee and ask, Where is our faith?, let's take the time to answer. Because if He didn't want to actually hear our response, He wouldn't have bothered to ask.

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