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Matthew 22:42-46 – "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is He?" "The Son of David," they replied. He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says, 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet."' If then David calls Him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions. (NIV)
Have you ever noticed that throughout the gospels, Jesus often answers questions with a question? One of my favourite Bible studies, entitled "Our Hebrew Lord" by Dwight Pryor, provides several examples of Jesus in this particular situation. In this study, I learned the classic Hebrew principles of teaching through the use of parables and soul-searching questions.
It is remarkable to note the very first instance of Jesus at the age of twelve inquiring of the rabbis. Not only did Jesus ask them questions, but He answered His parents' accusations with questions:
Luke 2:46-49 – After three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and His answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" (NIV)
And on many occasions during His ministry, Jesus in typical rabbinic fashion made use of thought-provoking questions in order to teach and explain the Word of God.
I also discovered an interesting observation in the Jewish Talmud with consideration to the following types of learning styles:
The Sponge is the student who takes it all in. The Funnel is one who lets it go in one ear and out the other. The Strainer thinks too hard and wastes valuable information. The Sifter collects what is fine and acts upon it.
At first glance, I thought that the Sponge was the best student. However, this type is lacking in good judgment. So, obviously, it is the Sifter who is most outstanding. This is the person who retains what is excellent and can apply that knowledge to daily living.
What kind of learners are we? How would we respond to Jesus' questions in today's Scripture? In what ways do our answers affect our lives? We may be surprised at what we will learn.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, make us excellent students of Your Word. Renew our minds and spirits that we may behold the "wondrous things out of thy law". (Psalm 119:18 KJV) In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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