Why Do You Call Me Good?

Evangelism which utilizes counter questioning might be the closest thing to Biblical I have found. There are many examples to reference, but let us begin with the rich young ruler. To paraphrase, he called Jesus “good teacher” and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responded by saying “why do you call me good.”┬áJesus was trying to get around the rules this young man was clinging to and reach his heart. Jesus was teaching us to change our perspective.

securedownload 2Answering someone’s question with a question helps us make sure we are talking about the same thing. How often has someone asked you a question, you answered it, and then you found out you misunderstood their question. What if this happened during an important conversation with someone about Jesus?

What if someone is asking you questions because they want to argue rather than consider the information at hand. Responding with questions forces them to reconsider their beliefs, and saves you from acting on the defensive.

At one point Jesus was challenged with this: “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things. Who gave you this authority?” Jesus’ response was “Tell me, John’s baptism, was it from heaven, or from men?” After a moment of consideration, they told him they didn’t know the answer. Jesus showed them that their attack on Christianity did not deserve an answer by saying, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things” Luke 20:1-8.

You will be attacked, Jesus tells us that, and deflecting the attack back onto themselves in the form of a question will prove to be the wise answer.

There was one time when Jesus answered a direct question, and that answer tells us how to act at all times. The teacher of the law asked which was the most important commandment. Jesus’ answer was the love our God with all our strength and love our neighbor as ourselves.

That answer was given to us, to know how we should treat those around us. That answer helps us know how to respond when a friend asks you how you can still believe in God after all the diseases in the world. Couldn’t God just make those diseases go away if he really loved us? You could try to defend God, or you could ask your friend how he explains bad things happening to good people.

If your friend is like Gandhi, who liked Jesus but did not like Christians because they are not like Jesus, ask your friend why he likes Jesus. How much does he know about Jesus.

Answering questions with questions helps us make sure we are not casting pearls before swine. It helps us know who we are talking with like Paul on Mars Hill. It helps us understand why people are asking these questions.

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