The Answer Has Nowhere to Go

If you’re anything like me, you may find it hard to understand how people seem unable to see certain things. Part of maturity—as well as humility—is acknowledging we don’t know what we don’t know. But it can sometimes be painfully easy to see what someone else doesn’t know, even if they can’t see it.

There are people like Sean Feucht and Joe Rogan who are often brought up in conversation amongst friends of mine. Most of what Feucht and Rogan say I find utterly ridiculous and counter to Jesus. But people I love and respect sometimes don’t see it that way.

How do we bridge this gap? More personally, how we do help those we care about to see the things we see that are important to us? It’s a question my friends are likely asking me in return. Regardless of where you land on your beliefs, I think this is something we can all resonate with.

I think the answer will come from a recommitment to questions rather than assaulting people with our ‘right’ answers. I love this quote from Clay Christensen:

“Questions are places in your mind where answers fit. If you haven’t asked the question, the answer has nowhere to go. It hits your mind and bounces right off. You have to ask the question—you have to want to know—in order to open up the space for the answer to fit.”

Clay Christensen, professor at Harvard Business School

I’ve really enjoyed the format we’ve been using with our Communion Wine Co. events as we base them around Q&A with the people in attendance. Some questions, as soon as I read them aloud, immediately strike a chord with the majority of people in the room. Those are great questions. Really good questions help to make space for the answer.

Unfortunately, in our echo chambers of social media these days, it seems we ask fewer questions and therefore have less room for good answers. The answers have nowhere to go.

It’s a reminder to me that curiosity often produces better results than judgment.

Jesus was an incredible model in this area. He asked tons of questions, even as a response to questions that were asked to Him. There are more than three hundred examples of questions Jesus asked in the Gospels and only a handful of questions He actually answered. Here are a few of them:

  • What do you want? (Mt 20:21)
  • Do you see anything? (Mk 8:23)
  • Why were you looking for me? (Lk 2:49)
  • Why are you startled? Why are doubts arising in your hearts? (Lk 24:38)
  • Who touched me? (Mk 5:30; Lk 8:45)
  • Is it legal on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it? (Mk 3:4; Lk 6:9)
  • What do you want me to do for you? (Mt 20:32; Mk 10:36; and Lk 18:41)
  • What are you looking for? (Jn 1:38)
  • Do you want to get well? (Jn 5:6)
  • Do you also want to leave? (Jn 6:67)

Depending on your theology you might find a few different reasons as to why Jesus asked questions like these. Sometimes it seems obvious He’s asking a question He knows the answer to. Other times it’s not necessarily clear. The point is that the only perfect human ever to live asked lots and lots of questions to the people around Him. In fact, it was the way Jesus made disciples.

Let’s be the people who ask more questions.

Curiosity often produces better results than judgment. Share on X

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co.