I have two sons… and sometimes they have short attention spans. When they ask me a question, they usually want the “short answer”, but a father’s wisdom can’t always be expressed in just a few short words.
There are times when I recognize the elusive “parental teaching” opportunity. In these situations, a question that could have received a relatively short answer… often turns into a hour-long discussion. By the end of the discussion, we’ve talked so long that no one even remembers the original question.
I don’t think my boys always appreciate it when I do that.
In the gospels, Jesus sometimes gives the “long answer”… and I’m not always sure we, as readers, fully appreciate it. Sometimes we get to the end of a red-word response… and we’ve forgotten to whom Jesus is talking.
There’s a great example of this in John 5.
Shortly after healing a man on the Sabbath (John 5:1-17), there was a group of people seeking to kill Jesus.
John 5:18 (NASB95)
18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
Jesus’ then responds to those who were trying to kill him. It’s a very long response that Jesus gives. In fact, it’s a 29-verse response! So long that by the end… you might not remember why Jesus started talking in the first place. Continue reading “Did You Want the Long Answer?”