The Tragedy Of Unasked Questions

Monday, November 22, 2021
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Listen while you read: "Gentle Jesus Meek And Mild"1 (Lyrics)

Have you ever been plagued over questions that you wished you had asked when you had the chance? Questions like: What do you mean? Why is that necessary? When is it finished? How …? Where …? Who …? Et cetera. You later realized that the answers could have prevented needless confusion. I've had many such questions — questions which never entered my mind until the next day, or even years later.

Undoubtedly, that happened to the disciple John, for we see two unasked questions in his account of Jesus' encounter with a Samaritan woman at a well (John 4:1-42). Do you remember those questions? Or have you, like me, been brushing past them. John certainly didn't! They were important enough to record. He wrote:

John 4:27 – Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?" (NIV)

Jesus supplied the answers anyway. Firstly, He wanted to do His Father's will. Secondly, that was why He was speaking with her. Jesus was drawing her into the Father's kingdom. The harvest that was ready was right at that well!

But the disciples hadn't asked those two questions, and Jesus' answers didn't stick. Otherwise, the disciples would have thrown aside their lunch and jumped for joy, for this was a moment of celebration! It was the ancient promise being fulfilled before their very eyes! But they missed it!

That's the tragedy of our unasked questions. Something gets missed. Unasked questions can have tragic results at every level of life. They keep people stuck; they prevent progress and growth; they result in fruitless effort, conflict, uninformed opinions, misjudgments, misdiagnoses, gullibility, brainwashing, and ultimately, the failure to discover God's answer for sin: the Saviour.

Questions are vital. Even "dumb" questions are useful; they inspire more questions. The woman didn't utter her best question right away, not until Jesus pressed her beyond the familiarities. He kept prodding her mind, stirring her curiosity till she was receptive to something brand new. He awakened her spiritual thirst. Finally, she raised her unasked question: "Could this be the Messiah?" (John 4:29) Then, in no time, she had her entire village hastening to the well — with the same burning question.

Isn't this how the Spirit works? He uses everyday issues, circumstances — or anything, really — to raise those unasked questions, questions which awaken a thirst for brand new possibilities. It's a vital process, for answers (or advice) tend not to stick well if they come before the questions are asked.

Do you feel that you shouldn't have unasked questions about the Messiah, since you're a seasoned Christian? Well, be sure, there's always more to discover. Our unasked questions may have become tucked under a shield of familiarity, unbelief, spiritual dullness, or apathy. Thus, we're often in need of fresh stirrings by the Spirit. Then, it's hard to keep silent — as it was for the woman. Let's ask those questions!

Prayer: O Lord, awaken our sense of wonder for brand new possibilities. Embolden us to raise questions that point us toward Your best blessings for us! Amen.

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About the author:

Diane Eaton <>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing, Diane.

    Another insightful devotion Diane.

    Thanks, Diane, for this new insight into a familiar Bible event.

    You are so right. Asking questions is so very important. Thank you.

    Very thought provoking and a great reminder, Diane. Thanks and blessings!

    Helps ME, Diane! Thanks for revealing an important part of spiritual growth today.

    Thanks for this devotional Diane. Good idea to be mindful about and reflect on questions we have.

    Thank you, Diane, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. May we never be shy about asking the Lord our questions. Blessings.

    Diane, you have stopped me in my tracks this morning with your fresh insights into such a basic but fundamental thing. I have certainly forgotten or been too shy or nervous or often afraid to ask questions.
    Thank you for opening up the scenario of what new and vital worlds can be uncovered.

    Merci Diane!
    “You later realized that the answers could have prevented needless confusion.” Your devotional is Providential. It will provide a pathway through a minefield of misunderstandings at an annual meeting tomorrow night.

    Good morning, Diane,
    Thank you for looking at a situation in a slightly different way. It is always good to reflect on a passage with a different mindset because then you can gain a deeper understanding of what is happening.
    As you say, it isn’t always possible to think of the right questions in the moment.
    May you enjoy the answers to your questions and learn more. Blessings.

    Hi Diane:
    Just wanted to let you know that I find your writings very inspiring and insightful. I look forward to reading your writings when I see them.
    I think your words are spirit filled and they fill my heart with understanding.
    May God bless you and keep you.

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