. . . Jesus teaches us that when it comes to getting through to others, listening is not only the best first step; it’s the best second and third as well.(Image: by Leonid Mamchenkov at flickr)
Conrad Gempf points out that in the Gospels, Jesus “doesn’t ask primarily because he wants to acquire knowledge…. He asks to help people realize where they stand; he asks questions in order to give an occasion for a reply, in order to initiate a conversation.”
You might be thinking Jesus had some special power as the Son of God that enabled him to get extra mileage out of his questions. But if he had that kind of power, then why would he bother to ask questions at all? He could have simply cut to the chase, told the woman at the well that she was a sinner in peril of eternal damnation, and commanded her to repent right there on the spot. But he didn’t. Why?
Maybe because it’s actually true that he limited himself to the kind of humanity that you and I are stuck with. Maybe he wanted us to know what it would like if we wanted to partner with God in connecting with the people he misses, in a truly human but spiritual way.
So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them: "I'm here to introduce you to this God.... He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!" ~Acts 17