Short Meditations in John 4: 32. It’s good to question
Jn 4:33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
Life with Jesus is a life of questioning – or at least it should be. It is clear from observing the disciples throughout the Gospels that things kept happening that they did not understand. When you are walking with the Son of God, the Son of the God who is unseen and largely unknown, then he is going to be saying things and doing things that are beyond our understanding – at the start at least. Little children are not backward in coming forward and asking, “Why?” and we are encouraged to be childlike in our faith (Mt 18:3). That doesn’t only mean to be simple and straight forward in accepting the things Jesus says, believing them to be true, it also means being open to ask when we don’t understand. We are pupils or disciples or students, learners and wise learners ask questions
The disciples here are slightly bemused. Jesus has been on his own since they left him to go shopping. Yes, he was joined by this Samaritan woman, but she was only carrying a water jar, not food. He’s been here some time without provisions and yet he says he has food they don’t know about. How did that come about? He doesn’t carry his own food? Someone must have brought him some food but we haven’t seen anyone else out here. How did this happen?
These are all legitimate wonderings. We like to understand what is going on around us and there is nothing wrong in that except with Jesus we are often moving into another plane where things go on beyond our natural sight.
Jesus is going to explain to them in a moment what he means, but for this moment they are lost. Don’t be surprised if life is like that sometimes, don’t feel you are second class because you don’t understand everything that is going on around you. Indeed don’t feel guilty that you have questions. It is healthy to have questions; in fact I wish more Christians were asking more questions. So often the absence of our questions is a sign of our complacency or our having settled.
If you look up ‘why’ in an NIV concordance you will see it crops up 550 times in the Bible. Some are those are the explanatory ‘why’, e.g. “this is why it happened”, but mostly they are indications of questions being asked, sometimes by God and sometimes by people. When questions are asked by God they are to make us face the truth. When they are asked by people they are seeking the truth. Sometimes we will get answers and sometimes the Lord simple asks us to trust Him without insight.