Do you like it when people answer questions with a question?
Probably not . . . because when we ask a question, we want an answer.
But what if answers aren’t the end goal?
What if answering questions with a question is a great thing?
(As your pastor, I’m grateful that this series seems to have prompted that! Answering questions with a question! I’ve loved hearing your questions throughout this series! Thank you for taking the time to not just ask them, but really think through these things!)
When Jesus grew up, he was steeped in Jewish tradition, including the Scriptures. He knew the Hebrew Scriptures and had committed them to his mind and heart. In fact, he referenced them repeatedly in his teachings and interactions with the people.
But, Jesus didn’t read sScriptures as we do.
He did not read them and then tell people/us exactly WHAT to see in the Scriptures.
Jesus taught them/us HOW to see, what to emphasize, and also what could be de-emphasized or ignored.
This wasn’t a new approach during that time.
The Jewish people called this approach midrash.
They consistently used questions to keep spiritual meanings open, often reflecting on a text or answering people’s questions with more questions.
Think about what our world would look like right now if we approached that in our workings together.
A different approach could have saved us from so many centuries of rigid morality and exclusivity.
Check out what this practice actually “does” do . . .
“Rather than seeking always certain and unchanging answers, the Jewish practice of midrash allows many possibilities, many levels of faith-filled meaning—meaning that is relevant and applicable to you, the reader, and puts you in the subject’s shoes to build empathy, understanding, and relationship.
It lets the passage first challenge you before it challenges anyone else.”
Rohr, Midrash. https://cac.org/daily-meditations/midrash-2019-01-07/
Are you open to being challenged by scripture?
Or do you need it to fit in a nice compartment that you can file away?
The beauty of scripture is it is always unfolding, evolving, with our new, deeper understanding. I invite you into that journey today . . .
Grace and Peace,
Check out this passage from Matthew 5:
21 “You have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago, Don’t commit murder,[a] and all who commit murder will be in danger of judgment. 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell. 23 Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift at the altar and go. First make things right with your brother or sister and then come back and offer your gift. 25 Be sure to make friends quickly with your opponents while you are with them on the way to court. Otherwise, they will haul you before the judge, the judge will turn you over to the officer of the court, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 I say to you in all seriousness that you won’t get out of there until you’ve paid the very last penny.
There’s a lot more where this came from. 😉