Questions are like nuclear reactions, the power inside can transform or destroy, but there is no denying the sheer power available. Despite the power of questions, or perhaps because of it, they are in rare supply. Statements are far more common. Look at this paragraph, for example.
Good questions apply the gas; statements put on the brakes. Questions create space; statements define limits. Questions inspire new thoughts; statements regurgitate old ones.
Of course, a well-crafted statement can function like a question inspiring, and motivating. And a poorly-crafted question can be a blunt instrument used to defeat and subjugate rather than liberate minds. It’s not simply the punctuation mark at the end of the sentence that makes the difference. It’s the attitude behind the sentences.
A questioning attitude assumes humility, patience and value for others. It’s the admission that you and I might be wrong. It’s the wisdom that lies in lacking knowledge as opposed to the hubris of supposed omniscience.
Jesus-followers are questioners. He taught the process, he invited questions and he led his disciples through the process. Jesus expressed his gentle strength by inviting people to question with him.
“Who do people say that I am?”
“Will you give me a drink?”
“Is there no one left to condemn you?”
Each question digs deeper into the relationship. They invite more questions, more conversation, more understanding. Jesus doesn’t often presume to dictate, but he has no problem sparking new thoughts with his insightful questions.