Monday, June 1, 2015

Questioning Jesus

Yesterday we started a new sermon series at Sojourn: Questioning Jesus. We began with the passage about Jesus's conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, who had no trouble questioning Jesus, and discussed what we can learn from this encounter.

John 4:1-26
Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), He left Judea and went away again into Galilee. And He had to pass through Samaria. So He *came to a city ofSamaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about [a]the sixth hour.

The Woman of Samaria

There *came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus *said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman *said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11 She *said to Him, “[b]Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get thatliving water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up toeternal life.”
15 The woman *said to Him, “[c]Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 16 He *said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus *said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” 19 The woman *said to Him, “[d]Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus *said to her,“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is[e]spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman *said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus *said to her, I who speak to you am He.”

Questioning Jesus
The Samaritan woman asked many questions that have undertones for questions we ask today of Jesus.
Do you care? Who are you? Do you satisfy? Could you really forgive a person like me? What about other religions?
From this encounter we see it is OK to bring your questions to Jesus. He wants us to ask questions and her responds with much grace. Questions can be a gift to us as we wrestle through them with Jesus and grow in our faith as He gives us gracious answers and draws us into what is True.
So where do we start with questions?
Start where we are- we do not have to put on any pretense, but can ask the questions that are relevant to our lives right now.
Start in community- you are not the only one struggling with questions and we need each other to wrestle through questions together (Proverbs 12:15)
Start with the Bible- the Bible is God's Word and that is where we begin to search for answers. As you read write down questions and bring them to Jesus and other believers to talk through them.

Questioning Others
People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. As we seek to help others with their questions, we must be willing to cross barriers as Jesus did and think about dialogue before defense. Listen to the honest questions they are asking and seek where their hearts are. Jesus responds to questions with questions. (He asked over 380 questions of others.) Therefore, we need to learn the art of asking more questions, not just giving answers to defend our view.
We need to learn to understand and empathize with those we are talking to.
We need to learn to respond with truth and grace as Jesus does.
Jesus was bold and compassionate. As we become more like Him we can do the same. He called out sin but did it in a gracious way that continued conversation.
We will not always agree with those we talk with, but disagreement does not have to lead to hatred.

Something More
Jesus shows us there is something more than the questions.
Our desperate spiritual longing is to know God.
In Jesus we can know God and we are given living water- Eternal live with God and forgiveness. This is what we are looking for!

What do you think about questioning Jesus? Do you take your questions to Him?

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