Weekly Blog: The Right Question to Answer
Nov 11, 2019 1935
There are many questions that you’ll be confronted with in life. You won’t have time to answer most of them, and the great majority will be unimportant anyway. So you need to know the questions for which it is really important to find answers.
The very first words that Jesus speaks in the gospel of John are a question that he asks to two disciples of John the Baptist:
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”(John 1:37-38, NIV).
The very first words that Jesus speaks after his resurrection are to Mary Magdalene, and they are also a question. In fact, these are almost his last recorded words in the gospel of John:
At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”(John 20:14-15, NIV).
The focus in the gospel of John shifts from a “what” to a “who”, from theology to a person.
All of life is a journey from the “what” to the Who.
Life is like a huge question mark. The reality is that we live in a culture that is obsessed with the “what”. It tells us that we should spend our lives in a restless and quietly desperate pursuit of “things.” And many never find the answer to the question, because the answer doesn’t lie in the realm of “what” (things) but in “who” (Jesus). Followers of Jesus don’t help when their focus is principally on answering questions about “what” rather than introducing people to the Saviour.
In the time of Jesus, the Jews were fascinated and very knowledgeable in all matters of theology. They had their theological systems all worked out. They believed that they knew all about the coming saviour. They had a lot of knowledge about the “what” and missed the “who.”
We teach our children a lot of “what’s.” I understand that. Jesus started there too with those two disciples of John. Children are concrete thinkers. They need to start somewhere. But if that’s all we ever do, and we don’t grow, we’ve missed the main event. It’s like claiming to know all about a particular musical performer without ever having heard his or her music. That’s what it’s like when you know about the Bible but have never met Jesus for yourself. A Christian who is stuck in the “what” is not yet ready to share any Good News with anyone.
I’ve studied the Bible, and its history and teachings and prophecies. But that, in itself, doesn’t satisfy. I have studied the deepest theology. It endlessly fascinates but doesn’t fulfil. For me, all of life continues to be a journey from a “what” to a “who.”
The reason why Jesus continually highlights the question of “who” throughout his ministry is simple:
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life(1 John 5:12, NIV).
So, who is it you are looking for?
– Eliezer Gonzalez