Reading: Luke 20: 27-38
Sometimes we ask questions because we seek information. Sometimes we think we have the information and we ask questions to test or trap or embarrass someone. The second scenario is the case with our Sadducees today. They think up a whopper of a question to test and embarrass this man who seems to have all the the answers. Even to this difficult question, Jesus has an answer. It is such a good answer, in fact, that our gospel goes on to tell us that they dared not ask Him any more questions.
The intent of the Sadducees was not good. We have all been in or witnessed such a scenario ourselves. A person in authority asks a question their inferior likely cannot answer as a means to reinforce their own position or status. A child asks another a question about something they just learned in hopes of appearing smarter than the other. A colleague asks an apparently innocent “how was your weekend?” question, already knowing about the embarrassing thing that happened. All of these questions are questions asked to knock down another while falsely building ourselves up. This is not how we are called to live as followers of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is all about positive relationships and about helping others to grow in their faith. It is true that at times Jesus asked tough questions. He never sought to do this and only asked them as a way to prompt someone, not to force out an embarrassing revelation or confession. At times we too will have teachable moment that call for us to ask a tough question in order to allow another to grow. For the most part, we are called to ask questions that build others up, to ask questions that prompt growth and learning and thinking. Our line of questioning should allow others to consider and contemplate their faith without condemning or judging them. May we be careful with our words, always seeking to build up and teach and encourage growth in others so that they may grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.