We humans are an innately curious bunch, always exploring new places, tinkering with better ways of doing things, looking for solutions to life’s challenges, and seeking answers to questions of every sort. This human curiosity is also seen in us as believers as we seek deeper understandings of God’s workings in the world and a clearer sense of what God desires for our lives. Small wonder, then, that the Scriptures are full of questions as well: questions God asked of people, questions people asked of God, questions Jesus asked, questions people asked of Jesus, questions Jesus asked in response to people’s questions. The Bible is chock full of questions, profound questions,  enduring questions, questions that probe and search us.

Consider the following sampling of questions from Scripture.

  • Cain: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9)
  • God: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14)
  • Elijah: “How long will you go limping with two different opinions?” (1 Kings 18:21)
  • Job: “Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” (Job 2:10)
  • Psalmist: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1)
  • God: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations?” (Job 38:4)
  • Qoheleth: “What do people gain from all the toil at which they toil under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3)
  • God: “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” (Isaiah 40:25)
  • Jesus: “But what about you? Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29)
  • Jesus: “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)
  • Teacher of the Law: “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29)
  • Peter: “Lord, to whom shall we go?”  (John 6:67)
  • Angel: “Why do you seek the living with the dead?” (Luke 24:5)
  • Paul: “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7)
  • Paul, quoting from Job: “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (Romans 11:34)
  • Paul: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
  • James: “What is your life?” (James 4:14)

Our summer sermon series is going to reflect on a variety of questions that are raised in the pages and stories of Scripture. It’s telling that our word question contains the word quest. Often, the right question will send us on a journey in search of something valuable. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke reminds us that the deepest questions of life and faith are likely to yield their answers gradually, even painstakingly. “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Andy Wall
Author: Andy Wall