Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Questions of Jesus

I've really enjoyed preaching through the book of Mark this year at the church. We just finished chapter 10 on Sunday, so we have basically hit the 2/3 marker in our journey. The text this weeks starts the Passion Week narrative, where Mark slows down the timeline and spends six chapters in the last seven days of the life of Jesus. We will be preaching the end of Mark all the way until the end of the year, which means that the Advent season will take us through the crucifixion of Jesus and on Christmas Eve, our last service of the year, we will preach Mark 16:1-8, His resurrection. Should be interesting!

One thing that happens when you preach through a whole book is that you begin to notice interesting connections and themes that go from beginning to end. I shared Sunday night at Leadership Community about the theme of the compassion of Jesus in the book of Mark, which challenges us to see people with the eyes and heart of God, not our normal cynicism.

One other interesting thread on Mark's gospel is how many questions Jesus asks. I know you will think I'm weird for doing this, but I actually wrote out all the questions from Jesus and counted them. He asks 46 questions in 16 chapters. It seems that Jesus teaches with questions. In so many passages, he gets a question and turns it immediately back to the questioner with his own inquiry. Jesus is the master question-asker. A couple of thoughts hit me as I read this...

1) I should ask more questions rather than always assuming that I have the answers. Do I ask good questions or just space-filling questions?

2) I should not only come to Jesus with my questions, but should also listen to His questions. Maybe I'm consumed with the wrong stuff and Jesus is trying to shift my focus.

3) One of the best ways to teach is to ask great questions. We all struggle with self-awareness and a good question can lead a student to see himself honestly for the first time.

What did I notice about Jesus' questions? Well, that might need to be another post. Or even a sermon series - the questions of Jesus. That would be fun - like Jesus putting us on the hot-seat rather than us always throwing our questions at Jesus.

One final note - Jesus' last words in Mark are a question - My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Wow - the questions of Jesus.

1 comment:

Danny Burch said...

One thing I enjoy about Mark's gospel is that we see a different side to Jesus from the other 3 gospels.. I think we see more of the Alpha and Omega Jesus, the Destroyer and Re-builder part. I especially love seeing Jesus ruthlessly go after people's hearts.