Is the Great ? Guiding You
I believe the Spirit guides, but for me, it always seems as though the Spirit is guiding with more questions than answers. I want him to be a GPS, but apparently he’s a teacher in the tradition of Jesus (this blog is a continuation of the blog I posted yesterday … you can read it by clicking here).
If we look at the way Jesus’ taught, it was sometimes via statements and often via response question. Here’s a list of Jesus’ questions. I know it’s long, but it’s interesting. (If you want, you can skip down to the bottom)
- Matthew 9:14-15 (NIV) 14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them?
- Matthew 15:1-3 (NIV) Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” 3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?
- Matthew 15:32-34 (NIV) 33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” 34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.
- Matthew 17:24-26 (NIV) 24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” 25 “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own sons or from others?”
- Matthew 21:16 (NIV) 16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”
- Matthew 26:6-10 (NIV) 6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman?”
- Mark 2:1-11 (NIV) 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralytic, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
- Mark 4:10,13 (NIV) 10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables…13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?
- Mark 4:38,40 (NIV). 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
- Mark 7:17-18 (NIV) 17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked.
- Mark 10:2-3 (NIV) 2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied.
- Mark 12:14-17 (NIV) 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.
- Mark 12:18, 20-24 (NIV) 18 Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question… 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. 21 The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. 22In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
- Luke 2:48-49 (NIV) 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” 49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
- Luke 6:1-3 (NIV) One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. 2 Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” 3 Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?
- Luke 10:25-26 (NIV) 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
- Luke 10:29,36 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” . . . 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
- Luke 12:41-43 (NIV) 41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?” 42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?
- Luke 18:18-19 (NIV) 18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.
- Luke 20:1-4 (NIV) One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?” 3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me, 4 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or from men?”
- Luke 24:17-19 (NIV) 18One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked.
- John 3:4,10 (NIV) 4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” 10“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?
- John 6:60-71 (NIV) 60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” 61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?
- John 8:3-10 (NIV) 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? . . . 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
- John 11:8-10 (NIV) 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight?
- John 13:37-38 (NIV) 37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me?
- John 18:22-23 (NIV) 22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded. 23“If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”
- John 18:33-34 (NIV) 33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
- John 21:20-22 (NIV) 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them…21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
I wonder, when Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Great Teacher, does he mean that the Holy Spirit is the Great Questioner? Because, honestly, that’s been my experience with the Spirit. He hasn’t been the GPS that I’ve often thought he should be. He hasn’t been the “guide” that I thought he would be. He’s been a socratic dialectic.
Am I the only one who’s experienced the “guidance” of the Holy Spirit in this manner?