I know that this choice for Q may seem a bit quixotic but reflect with me on the number of times in conversation Jesus asked questions. It appears that his questions were not so much to serve his own purposes as they were to stir the other to think more deeply about an important issues.
In the Gospel of Matthew alone we see how often Jesus put questions to various individuals and groups. For instance: Of the Pharisees who came to watch him baptize Jesus asked, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?" (3:8). Once during a storm at sea he asked his disciples, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (8:26). Of the teachers of the law who were offended that he was blaspheming, he asked, ”Why do you entertain evil thought in your hearts?” (9:4). Of the Pharisees who complained about his disciples picking grain on the Sabbath he asked, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?” (12:3).
Jesus used questions to stir the minds of those who came to hear him teach. For instance, in his teaching on anxiety in Matthew 6 he asks 8 separate questions in 6 verses (25-30). His ministry wasn’t limited to telling people what they didn’t know; it constantly encouraged them to think about issues of significant importance. I believe there is something of vital importance here for those involved in the educational task. How can we involve students most effectively with the information we present? My career has been in education all the way from helping first graders learn how to play the violin to an honors only graduate class in a state university on the Search for Meaning. At every level the goal is to get the student genuinely involved in the process. There is probably no better way than to present an issue with questions that draw the student in and arouse their curiosity. Jesus used questions. The important issues of life are not facts to be memorized but adventures to be experienced. We remember those things that move us most profoundly and that depends upon personal involvement. The good student is not saying, “Tell me;” but, “Involve me.” And I believe that is why Jesus kept asking questions wherever he went.
So Q is for Questioning, the first step in the quiet pleasure of learning. For those who stand outside what we might call an existential contact with reality I would ask, “Will you join me in the journey that leads to truth?”