What Did Jesus Ask?
Christian Leaders Reflect on His Questions of Faith
Edited by Elizabeth Dias
Jesus asked many questions. Our faith leaves us living those questions and wondering how best to live as his disciples. Each chapter of this book is a short reflection on a question Jesus asked. The voices who wrote the reflections are diverse in all ways except all being Christians. You may recognize some of the authors and others voices will leave you wanting to know more about them. You could read this book quickly or savor it. You could use this book to open a meeting, as a starting question for Sunday School or as themes for a sermon series. This book does not answer the questions Jesus asked instead it invites us to ponder the questions and ask more questions.
In this book are theological positions with which I disagree and even in those essays, I found truths that ring true. This book forced me to read essays with which I agree and disagree and to think and ponder with the authors.
This is a book for anyone who wants to dive in Scripture in a different way. You’ll enjoy this journey along with fellow believers. Your faith will be challenged and strengthened by exploring the questions Jesus asked.
Sister Simone Campbell pushed me to be extravagantly generous and be grateful for the extravagant generosity of others.
Yvette Flunder said, “Any theology that suggests that God receives some and rejects others is not reflective of the ministry of Jesus Christ” (81). I read these words on a night when I needed to be reminded of this fundamental truth.
Carrie Newcomer said, “I know when the world feels anything less than miraculous to me, I’m probably not paying attention” (105). You’ll enjoy one of Carrie’s song here- https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2qZyoRiBteI
Dhyanchand Carr reflects on the Good Samaritan and leaves us with this challenge, “So maybe, rather than simply drawing a lesson to be compassionate toward the less fortunate, we should reflect on the great and immeasurable love of God which transcends all legitimate and difficult barriers and reaches out to us” (176).
I struggled with these words from Rudy Rasmus, “The truth of the matter is, no one really knows what the impetus was for Judas’ actions, but we do know that either failure, shame, or remorse caused him to take his own life, subsequently killing the prospects of hope for reconciliation, restoration, and the truth to ever manifest” (206). In response to this I say, I do not believe it is ever too late for reconciliation or restoration in our relationship with God. Why do we limit God and God’s love for each and every one of us?
I had to force myself to keep reading the essay that began with these words, “You do not expect a priest to be formed by a woman” (216). I wanted to scream at the author why not? I kept reading his story searching for the good news among the pain his words caused me.
I struggle with what changes I need to make in my own life to live out these words. “If we choose not to care, then we are no longer indifferent onlookers; we are in fact active aggressors. If we do not allay the pain of others, then we are contributing to the suffering of our world. If we do not choose to heal the suffering around us, then ultimately we do not want to be healed. Like Christ, then, it is our vocation and obligation to seek out the oppressed and to discern the consequences of our actions. If we do not work for the welfare of our world, then we do not genuinely desire to be well. In our efforts for healing and reconciliation, we must ask ourselves difficult questions about lifestyle and habits. Just how prepared are we to sacrifice our excessive lifestyles–that is to say, when will we learn to say, “Enough!”–in order for others to enjoy the basic right to survive?” (229-230).