Jesus had a knack for asking the obvious.
“Do you want to get well?”- to the lame man at the pool of Bethesda who’d suffered for 38 years. (John 5:6)
“How many baskets of food were left over?” – to the disciples after feeding the 5000. (Mark 8:19)
“Friends, have you caught any fish?” – to his career-fishermen disciples who’d worked through the night and caught nothing. (John 21:5)
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” – to the woman caught in adultery, after Jesus confronted her accusers. (John 8:10)
“Do you believe I can do this?” – to two blind men who dared to follow from a distance. (Matthew 9:28)
“What do you want from me?”- to two more blind men who tracked him down a week before his crucifixion. (Matthew 20:32)
Jesus, of course, already knew the answers. He used these questions to reveal himself. To establish trust and deepen a relationship.
It allowed him to hear the voice and the heart of those who cried out to him. To look into their eyes as long as it took to replace their despair with hope.
He wanted to confront their faith. To confirm they were ready to place it fully in him, instead of everything they’d tried in the past.
These aren’t the type of questions that come as a first introduction to someone. They come from a place of deep love, as a result of knowing someone’s story and studying their struggle.
In the 40 days leading up to Easter, a period known as Lent, I pondered the typical list of sacrifices people normally give up to sharpen their awareness on what Easter is all about.
I decided to ask Jesus a few questions. I thought it might deepen our relationship as well.
But He’s the Master. so it went something like this.
“Jesus, what would you like me to sacrifice for you? What do you want from me?”
“Well first, what do you want from me?” (question 1)
“You know, the usual. Keep my family safe, allow all our dreams to come true. Just keep that abundant life thing going. It’s pretty swell.”
“Hmmm. Is our relationship based on everything going right for you?” (question 2)
“No, no, of course not. That’s just where I start. Once I get that out of the way, I am free to serve you however you see fit.”
“Really. So, where do we go from here?” (question 3)
“I definitely want more. I want to be used by you. I want to bring people closer to you, to watch you change their lives. Everywhere I look, I see broken people who need you.”
“What do you think gets in the way? Why don’t you write those things down in your little journal there?” (questions 4 and 5)
…An hour later…
“Jesus, These pages are filled with all the details of my day to day life. Survival, I guess.”
“Looks like those pages are filled with your plans. Are these your back-up plans?” (question 6)
“Well, sort of. Just all the things I can think to do to serve my current problems. You know, while I wait for you to use me in some big and profound way.”
“Back-up plans. In case I don’t get it right?” (question 7)
“Umm. Well I never looked at it like that. Okay, so here’s my to-do list. Which ones do you want me to give up?”
“How about all of them?” (question 8)
“All of them? You want all my back-up plans? I have a lot of hopes and dreams scribbled on these pages.”
“What about your dreams? Can I have those as well?” (questions 9 and 10)
Gulp. “My dreams? They are what keep me going. They believe in me, even when I can’t believe in them.”
“Well, what if they’re what’s holding you back instead?” (question 11)
“Holding me back? From what?”
“From my dreams for you. What if mine are bigger than yours? Or are you afraid mine are too small?” (questions 12 and 13)
“Who told you that? Truth is, I’ve wondered if you might forget to use me sometimes. Guess I want to be relevant.”
“To me? Or to the world?” (questions 14 and 15)
I couldn’t answer that one. But He already knew.
“Didn’t you ask me to be the Lord of your life?” (question 15)
“Will you let go?” (question 16)
I wiped a few tears, handed over the journal, and fell into his arms.
And never felt so relevant.
My Jesus sure has a knack for asking the obvious.