September 22

Mark 9:30-32

“But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.” vs. 32

The arrest and crucifixion of Jesus came as a jolt to his disciples. They had anticipated triumph and success, a great victory over the dominating oppressive powers. But after the resurrection, when it became apparent to them that Jesus was indeed the Christ, some of them remembered that he had talked about persecution and suffering while he was with them. Since his words hadn’t made sense and didn’t fit their expectations they had failed to question him. They had been afraid! Maybe they were intimidated by him…maybe they didn’t want to offend him…we can’t know the reason for their fear. We only know that their ignorance left them speechless. This sort of thing happens regularly on the path of discipleship. As we journey with Jesus we have some notions about direction and purpose…we know where we want to go. But then stuff happens and life can get pretty confusing…and we don’t even know what questions to ask. Besides, some of us have learned that faith and questioning are mutually exclusive, that asking questions of Jesus would imply lack of trust, that it’s better to keep our mouths shut and make believe we understand even when we don’t. The problem is that unquestioning faith quickly becomes stagnant and weak…it simply can’t grow! Strong faith asks tough questions without fear…and in the questioning becomes even stronger.

Thought for the Day: How can questioning strengthen faith?

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