We all have heard the classic Christian one liner: “Jesus is the answer.” I remember as a kid in Sunday school, whatever the question was, we would always answer “Jesus”. What if we had it all wrong, what if Jesus never intended on giving answers to life’s tough questions.
Jesus never wrote anything himself. That must be our first clue. He did however told plenty of open ended stories. Funny enough, whenever he was confronted with a question, he responded with a story.
Or a question in return.
Although more than his stories, you’ll find his questions.
According to Richard Rohr, Jesus asked 189 questions in the four Gospels. Guess how many he answers.
(I really love that about Jesus. Somewhat slippery. Jesus probably would have been a lousy Protestant preacher.)
So maybe Jesus is not the answer, but rather the question. Or questions. Tough, tricky questions we need to ask our ourselves.
Jesus is the mirror God holds up.
John Dear writes that Jesus’ questions can reposition you. Put you back on track. Reframe your God imagination and invites you into new creative possibilities. Rohr adds to this by saying that Jesus leaves us “betwixt and between”. The questions Jesus asked, backed up with uncomfortable open ended silences or even better: his earthly yet timeless life parables, leads us into liminal, transformative spaces. As Christians we follow in the footsteps of a questionable Rabbi leading us into questionable spaces that can alter the direction of our lives.
For that to happen we need not to find the right answers about God, but rather become (in the words of John Dear) answering persons responding to the questions asked by a questioning God.