What question are you asking right now? 

 February 16, 2023

By  JulieQ

What question are you ruminating on right now?

That is one of my favorite questions to ask as a coach. Actually, it’s a great question to coach around because it is indicates something IMPORTANT is stirring inside of you and THAT, my friends, is where opportunities are.

I have been meditating on the Scriptural account in Luke 10. It’s the account where the lawyer comes to Jesus and asks him: “What must I DO to inherit eternal life?” We know from Scripture that he was “testing” Jesus with that question but, keep in mind, he was a lawyer after all. Don't we all have a bit of a lawyer in each of us?

Lawyers like to be “right,” they have high standards, they are disciplined and like it when rules are being followed. They tend toward being pretty “heady” too.

But ... the man has a question ruminating inside. And ... it’s a really BIG question. 

A “teller” would be ready to give a long answer to the question. In fact, most evangelists of our day would happily respond with an explanation of the Four Spiritual Laws of Salvation or the like. Interestingly, Jesus doesn’t “tell” him anything. He simply asks the man a question: “What does the Law say? How do you ‘read’ it?”

 A question with a question. Hmm.  Why do you suppose that is?

First, if we really believe that Jesus was and is a man full of grace and mercy, we can easily conjecture that He is desiring to answer the “real” question that is being asked by the man. He desires to give the man a real opportunity to find true “Life” in relationship with Himself ... testing or not.

And, since relationship is about relating, Jesus, the Master Coach, begins a conversation with the man. He wants to know what is going on inside of the man. If you want to truly “know” a person, you value what THEY think and you WANT to draw it out. 

It’s reasonable to believe that, being a man of the law, he probably had been thinking, reasoning and “ruminating” on that question from childhood. 

So the man answers Jesus’ question and, not surprisingly, has an accurate response. His answer is: “to Love the Lord God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.” Wow! Good answer!

Jesus affirms his good answer, but takes the conversation to where the REAL opportunity is. He says, “You have answered correctly; DO this and you will live.” 

I’m sure it felt good to get Jesus' validation. Lawyers love that!

And so the man asks another question. This time the Scripture indicates that he asked it seeking to “justify” himself (e.g., he thinks he is actually living it out).  So he asks “And who is my neighbor?”

Interestingly, Jesus does not even condemn his desire for justification. He just responds with the parable of the good Samaritan. Three people come upon an injured person as they walk along the road. In the story, the Samaritan (not the Priest or the Levite) is the only one who cares for the injured person.

So, in the story, Jesus basically says a neighbor could be ANY ONE. This would be in complete contrast to what the lawyer would have believed: a neighbor was someone in his own community. He might extend it to someone outside his own community but that would convey him some sort of "brownie point" for doing so). In Jesus’ parable, Jesus essentially increases the standard to include those outside of the culture, even enemies who are in need. No award for brownie points!

I’m sure the man was stunned by the prospect of the new, higher standard. I mean, for a person with high standards to begin with, an even higher standard can feel overwhelming ... even burdensome. “How can I treat every one like that? My whole life would consist of taking care of those in need!” 

In times past, I felt like this was kindof mean. 

But, Jesus was and is NOT mean, so there has to be a reason behind what He’s saying and doing. Remember, He’s looking for the relational opportunity.

So why does He make the standard higher and harder when in other places of Scripture, He says “My burden is light”?

First, we need to keep in mind that in the culture that the story is set in, a "burden" is carried by two animals that are yoked together. They are in relationship carrying the burden together which makes it “light.”

Secondly, Jesus, in the Parable, says that the man who is considered “the good neighbor” was “moved with compassion” and responded to the injured person. Compassion - That is a heart word, not a head word. It is not a burden because His heart is engaged toward the individual in need. He WANTS to help because He has the heart to do it. 

So, by increasing the standard, he hits at the core of the man’s problem and the reason he wanted to justify himself in the first place. He thinks he can and should be able to DO the “eternal life” thing in and of himself.

It's simply NOT possible. If eternal life is about loving others, we need the heart to do it. And to have the heart, we need to be yoked together with some one that has both the “heart” and the capacity to love in that way.

The essence of the Gospel is: “Apart from me you can do NO thing” (John 15:5). Instead, “I will give you a new heart (MY heart) and put a new spirit  (MY spirit) in you. I will cause you to walk in my statutes” (Ezekiel 36:26-27, Heb 10:16).  

So, the whole discourse between Jesus and the lawyer - It's an opportunity to connect the lawyer to not just the "right answer," but to lead Him to a “Life-ing” connection.  

Application Questions that arise from this Story:

So, what question IS ruminating inside YOU?

What do you know already? How do YOU read it?

Where is your heart at? What feels doable? What feels impossible like a burden?

What standards are you seeking to live by? Are they heavy? Why?

Where’s your heart at?

Do you feel alone in this?

What do you really need in this moment?

Jesus, this is what I believe, how do you want to take this from my head to my heart? What is the opportunity? How can we do this together?

How can we walk out what you are stirring within?

These are all types of questions that I ask in a coaching session. Sound like something you want to give a try? I would love to walk you through an introductory session. Check out the link above.


Hi! I'm Julie. Here's a few details about me. I live in Texas. I'm married to my soul mate, Buddy. Together, we have 4 grown children and 7 grandkids. I am an active Real Estate Broker (http://tx-hillcountry.com) and also an Encounter Life Coach.

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