Those Pesky Questions!
How do you feel about questions? Like ’em? Make you nervous? Put you on the defensive? Make you think? Jesus asks lots of questions. In fact Zach Zehnder authored a blog post on the subject, listing 305 questions Jesus asked. Zach observed…
Where would you put this question, “Children, do you have any fish?”? Perhaps a bit curious. Not really open-ended; the answer was a simple yes or no. Challenging? You decide. But as is often the case with God, Jesus knew the answer to the question he asked even before he asked it. It wasn’t for his information. It was an opportunity for the disciples to acknowledge their lack of success in fishing all night. It was an opportunity to admit failure.
Many years ago I attended an Alcoholics Anonymous Open Meeting. The men around the table that night, one after another, introduced themselves, “My name is Joe and I’m an alcoholic.” A brutal admission of their failure to be able to control themselves in the area of drinking alcohol. That is the first step toward recovery: we admit we have a problem.
In the case of the disciples’ failure to catch any fish that night, Jesus’ question seems like more of an invitation than a challenge. But it is an invitation to admit their failure and lack of resources. And it became an opportunity for Jesus to show his gracious provisional power. Who would have thought it? So now, the questions I posed more than two weeks ago seem ever so appropriate.
- Why did Jesus appear at this time to these people?
- What was the impact in their lives?
- What do I learn from these accounts?
- What am I going to do about it?
Are you willing to ask these questions of yourself?
Perhaps he was saying, “I’d like some fish and you don’t have any. Catch them My way, under My direction,” as the precursory challenge to to being fishers of men. He brought the obvious fully to their attention.
Thanks for pressing us to think! Ask! Pray! Attempt to find answers!!!