Why do you ask me?

Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together.
I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” -John 18:19-22 NRSV

Questions. Some arise from a good heart and a sincere motive. Some arise from evil hearts and motives. Yet a question, in an of itself, is (generally speaking) neither good nor bad. So when Jesus returns a question with a question he is addressing more than the question. He is speaking to the dark motives of the religious leaders that asked.

The reaction of the religious policeman speaks to how the words of Christ were received. Many then, and even today, respond by lashing out against those who would question those in authority. It is a sad commentary on the abuse of power and authority. It gives us cause to pause and weigh the intents of our heart when we ask questions.

Help us Lord to watch over our hearts. Teach us to really listen before we speak.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.

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