But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
“There is no such thing as a stupid question.”
I have heard that sentence more time than I can count; at the end of a lecture, in the middle of a bible study, at the beginning of a date… It drives at the heart of inquiry, a desire to process information to grow in knowledge.
But, honestly, stupid questions do exist:
“If money doesn’t grow on trees, then why do banks have branches?”
“Why do we park in driveways and drive on parkways?
“If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?”
However I do appreciate the intent behind the claim of the non-existence of stupid questions, because the worst questions of all are those not asked.
We’ve been going through the book of Mark chapter by chapter in our Sunday school class and one of my favorite refrains has been “Well, why didn’t they just ask Jesus?!” It’s as if while reading through the gospel we’ve become so intimately familiar with the characters that we want to shout out directions on to the pages. And who can blame us? Time and time again the disciples encounter something absolutely holy only to completely miss it or ask a question that has far more to do with them than it has to do with the Lord.
And here’s the crux of it all: for as much as we might lament the disciples inability to further their knowledge of Jesus, and therefore limit our ability to know the truth of Jesus, they were really no different than us. We read that they regularly did not understand what Jesus was saying and they were too afraid to ask. And that’s actually a good thing!
There are some things that are simply too mighty and too holy for us to understand. And even if we had an inkling of the depth of Jesus ministry and we were so bold to ask a question, it would probably be one that blew up in our faces.
Sometimes, in fact a lot of the time, it is good and right for us to not have all the answers because so much of our lives are mysterious. And the more we try to pull back the curtain the more disappointed we will be.
So we can raise all the questions we want, we can even scream at the disciples in the pages of our bibles, but God has revealed to us what God wanted to reveal, the rest of it is left to that thing we call faith.