Dean Paul Draper post image

Easy Answers or Good Questions?

We often think that we need to have all the right answers
and that faith will give us answers to all lifes problems and
questions. Jesus, however, never felt he had to answer a
question. A well known Christian writer claims that Jesus
was asked 183 questions in the four Gospels and only directly answered three
of them! Sometimes he is silent, as with Pilate, or enigmatic, or simply asks
a question in reply. Jesus was very good with questions. A question well
thought through is already halfway to an answer, so they say. Many of his
questions tease out new insights

Which of these was a neighbour to the man on the road to Jericho? (Luke

Why do you notice the splinter in your brothers eye yet fail to perceive
the wooden beam in your own eye? (Matt 7:2)

Can the wedding guests mourn so long as the bridegroom is with them?
(Matt 9:15)

Do you believe I can do this? (Matt 9:28)

What did you go out to the desert to see? (Matt 11:8)

Which of you who has a sheep that falls into a pit on the Sabbath will not
take hold of it and lift it out? (Matt 12:11)

How can anyone enter a strong mans house and take hold of his
possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? (Matt 12:29)

Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? (Matt 12:48)

And why do you break the commandments of God for the sake of your
tradition? (Matt 15:3)

How many loaves do you have? (Matt 15:34)

Do you not yet understand? (Matt 16:8)

Who do people say the Son of Man is? (Matt 16:13)

But who do you say that I am? (Matt 16:15)

Questions that make us think, rethink and see different answers.

One of my favourite sayings is “…for every difficult problem, there is an
easy answerand it is invariably wrong! Jesus was in the business of
changing people, not of giving them easy answers. This was true of
Nicodemus who came to Jesus in the dark. He asks two clear questions and
does not really get a straight answer to either. What he does get, expands his
mind and heart to breaking point. After the crucifixion we hear that he
comes with Joseph of Arimathea to take the body for burial. This was a very
public show of devotion and discipleshipdone now in broad daylight. He
had not received an easy answer, but had been drawn into a lifechanging

In Holy Week we watch and pray with Christ, that we may also move into the
light of his loving presence and answer his question Who do you say that I am?”

Holy Week 2023: Choosing to Love the World 2nd 9th April

The phrase Choosing to Love the World comes from Thomas Merton. He
writes that choosing to love the world is an acceptance of a task and
vocation in the world, in history and in time. In my time, which is the

He also goes on to say that mere automatic rejection of the world and
contempt for the world is in fact not a choice but an evasion of choice. The
person who pretends that he/she can turn their back on Auschwitz or Vietnam
and act as if they were not there, is simply bluffing.

Today he might say that ignoring global warming, displacement of people
and rampant inequality is simply bluffing.

In Holy Week we watch and pray with Christ, as we see

His selfless outpouring and radical choice for the world.

His passion for the world.

His choosing to love the world.

Dean Paul


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