Why did Jesus answer questions with more questions?

We see one example of Jesus responding to questions with more questions in Luke 10:25-37. (You could read it now – either in a Bible or by clicking through the link). In this story, Jesus responds to someone who asks him a question with more questions, a parable, another question and responds in a short affirmation of the conclusion which the inquirer has reached.

I believe that Jesus often answered questions with more questions to invite people into conversation. A short clear answer does not invite or encourage a relationship. Relationships are more important than definitive answers. As a United Methodist, I believe that we are all called to move toward perfect love of God and neighbor. Responding to questions with more questions invites continued conversation and builds relationships.

I am not saying that there are not answers to any question. I find some issues clearer than others. Sometimes I feel equipped and called to give a clear direct answer on a particular subject. On other issues, I am less clear and would prefer to hear what someone else has to say and be willing to shape my understanding in conversation with them. In all conversations, I seek to move in a direction that is faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ and relevant to the context in which I am living.

  • How would you respond to this question?
  • Do you find a question in response to a question frustrating or inviting? something else entirely?

This is part of a series of posts responding to questions raised in The Secret Message of Jesus – A Book Discussion at Resurrection.

By Andrew Conard

Christian, husband, son, brother, homeowner

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