The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. What do you say?” They said this to test Him so that they might have some charge to bring against Him. John 8:3-6
Questions were asked of Jesus for many reasons. Some were curious, wanting to be enlightened, adding to their intellectual prowess. Some were seeking, drawn toward the Light because they had tasted the torment of the darkness. Some were testing, wanting to discredit Jesus by trapping Him between, what they thought might be, only two possible answers. Either of those answers would implicate Him. Truth was never trapped however. Knowing the hearts of men, He answered outside the box in the genius of deity.
If Jesus said that the woman should be stoned, His message of grace and forgiveness would be compromised. If He let her go free, He would violate the law of Moses. What a bind He was in. If I had been in the crowd, I would have been holding my breath. Learning from Him, I add to my repertoire of people skills.
1. Not every question or comment needs to be answered, even though posed.
2. Some are driven by personal agendas to ask inappropriate questions. By answering, it feeds their boldness.
3. Questions can be wonderful things if the one asking is truly seeking and there is no ulterior motive.
4. Questions can be dangerous if the intent is entrapment.
Oftentimes, my own body language will tell me what I need to know about the one asking the question. For instance, I could be asked the same question by two different people. One would feel safe and I’d love answering it. The other would feel invasive and I would scramble to know what to do with it. Listening to my gut, which is where the Spirit often moves and speaks in a believer, is important. I must be like Jesus and never answer on the fly. He was constantly listening to His Father; discerning, unrushed, willing for others to bear the uncomfortable silences if necessary. He was not manipulated by the schemes of men, nor should I be. Though tongues can often set a trap, I dwell in a spacious place with a God who rescues me, moment by moment, because He delights in me. (Ps.18:19)
If ever I needed to know Your mind, it’s in this area, Lord. I want to think like You, discern like You. Give me the courage to speak the truth, sit on the truth until it’s an appropriate time, or fall silent. Clothe me the surpassing power You promise each of Your children. Amen