Karl Jacobson over at Working Precher.com shared a quote from Voltaire this week that we ought to judge a person by his questions rather than his answers. I think taking it a step further would be better, we ought to judge a person by the people who ask him/her questions.
Jesus and the priests go at it with a battle of questions in Matthew 21:23-32. Jesus doesn't just ask a better question, he trumps them (and us) with a story. It isn't a big one but this only proves how effective a story can be.
The priests got pownd. Obviously, we love it. In my life in the Church, preachers and congregations have always seemed to love these texts when the religious leaders take a fall. We get to laugh at someone else and secretly say, "thank goodness that wasn't us!" Really? You think so? Let me ask ya then, who do you think this applies to today? If you don't have people around you asking good, hard, questions and telling simple engaging stories, you are sliding to back of the line.
Who is asking you questions?
This weekend I am going home. The Emerald City. Pirate Country. East of Tobacco Road. Carolina is on my mind (North Carolina, that is). Greenville. On Sunday, I am preaching at my home church as well, Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church. It has been a church which has supported me, shaped me and encouraged me. I'm nervous and excited. Not only do I have a question to pose to this church, I know there is a question coming back - maybe the very same one Jesus asked.