It was during my Junior year of High School. Like so many others, that was the time in my life when I began asking questions. I was looking at life, exploring the world, and figuring out what I wanted to believe. And it was about that time the musical came out “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The songs caught on, and they were on the radio a lot. At Church one day a group of us asked the Pastor, “What do you think about it?” He answered, “Well, they’re asking the right questions.”
That was a fantastic answer. The questions they were singing were like this: “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, who are you, what have you sacrificed? … Do you think you’re what they say you are?” And, “I don’t know how to love Him …” We understood that it was good for those who did not know Jesus to ask. Who is Jesus? Was this all planned? And how do we relate to this man who is not like us?
But there was even more. This is how our pastor’s answer hit home:
“They’re asking the right questions”? We get to ask questions? This is not just about believing what we have been told? And we started asking.
It is a fascinating thing about the Christian faith. We ask questions and search the Scriptures. And we welcome questions. This is the most fun part of teaching confirmation; when the students start asking questions. Some years they think they are getting us off the lesson plan. But not so. The entire confirmation class is asking and answering, “Who is Jesus, and what has He done for us?” Every question, every curiosity, and even a lot of the questions that come out of doubt – all of them lead us to look at Jesus, and we find amazing things in Him.
Jesus taught His disciples (and everyone else) by prompting their questions. There is a string of events in the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus is prompting questions.
- Jesus was out in the boat on the lake with the storm was raging. After the disciples woke Him and He commanded the storm to stop – they asked, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and waves obey Him?” (Matthew 8:27)
- He healed a paralyzed man and the people “were afraid and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.” (Matthew 9:8)
- From prison, John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask, "are You the one who is to come?” (Matthew 11:3)
- Jesus taught in parables and the disciples puzzled them over and then came to ask; and Jesus taught them about the Kingdom. (Matthew 13)
- And then Jesus feeds 5,000 (who is this who gives bread like manna from heaven?) (Matthew 14:19-21) and walks on water (who is this who commands the very elements?) (Matthew 14:25-33) and brings the lesson home, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is? … Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13-16)
And then there are the teachings of Jesus.
- The Sermon on the Mount teaches about blessing, prayer, forgiveness, and trust in God's provision -- and Jesus taught these things in ways that had never been heard. (Matthew 5-7)
- As Jesus taught, the tax gatherers and sinners gathered around. And He taught about the prodigal Son and how God and His angels celebrate our coming to faith. (Luke 15)
Christianity invites searching. When you begin to search and ask about Jesus, you find out that He is equal to all the questions you have; even the deepest questions. What is life all about? What does it mean to have a soul? What is good and evil?
You learn about God looking at the quiet humility of Jesus and His deep interest in all those around Him. You learn prayer by listening to Jesus’ teaching. And we find the purpose and fulfillment of our lives in our relationship with Him.
It is a fascinating thing about the Christian faith. We ask questions and search the Scriptures. And we welcome questions. Was our pastor back then asking questions? Yes, he was, searching the Scriptures and asking questions; learning more about God.
Am I still asking questions? Yes, I am. And I have found it to be true through the years. The more I learn about Jesus, the more the Bible opens up about the deep things of God; about our God who created us; about our Savior who came to be one of us, to win us by His blood for eternal life; and about the Holy Spirit who has worked faith deep inside my soul to bring me to Jesus. As much as I learn, I know there is so much more waiting for God to open it up.
Jesus still continues to fascinate. And I know I will keep learning more and more about Him for my whole life. Even when we see Him face to face we will still be just getting started.
Lord Jesus, lead me to know You, more and more every day. Open up the Scriptures that I may grow in faith, and grow in understanding Your words, Your will, Your love, and Your wisdom. May I grow in my fascination with all that You are, all that You teach and all that You are leading me to, that I may know the wonders of eternity. Amen.