Listening for the real question

th“Do all paths lead to God?”

“No, most roads don’t lead anywhere, but God will go down any road to find you.”

I love this answer. It’s what I call a left field answer. It’s not what you expect. It may not even answer the immediate question, but it answers the bigger question that often lies behind the question being asked, which, in this case is the question of how to get in touch with God. The answer turns the question on its head and makes God the one who is coming after us, which is, of course, the way this happens. We think we are seeking God when al along, God was seeking us.

Anyone who would ask, “Do all paths lead to God?” may not be seeking a straight answer anyway. Such a question is as loaded as the questions the Pharisees asked Jesus all the time. They were only designed to trap Him or at best pigeonhole Him. People often have questions like this designed to divert the issue away from belief or excuse unbelief. As do many Christians who have a whole arsenal of questions like this designed to test your doctrinal pedigree. The assumption being, answer these all correctly and you’re in. I don’t even think Jesus would give a straight answer to these types of questions. In fact, Jesus rarely gave a straight answer to any question. He always seemed to send people away scratching their heads. That’s because the kingdom of God doesn’t consist of right answers. You can get all the answers right and not even be close to the kingdom.

Jesus answered the real question underneath — the one people were really asking but didn’t know how or didn’t have the nerve to ask. We need to learn to probe under the surface of the questions people ask. What are they really asking? Assume the best. Assume they really want to know.

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3 Responses to Listening for the real question

  1. Mark S. says:

    Today’s Catch reminded me of a very good book i once read: “QBQ! The Question Behind the Question” by John G. Miller Although, it was not writing as a spiritual minded book – I got a whole lot out of it and it helped make me a better listener & ask questions to try and understand someone a bit better…

    • jwfisch says:

      Thanks for the tip!

      • Mark S. says:

        you’re welcome Pastor John and thx to you 4 all of the help you & Marti have gave me! It’s sincerely appreciated – hopefully and maybe soon we can start the Catch Bible studies up again…
        PS i still often think about how I, like Mosses once did wear a mask…

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