Why is it so important to answer not only the question, but also the questioner?
There are a number of reasons to answer the question, but more importantly, the questioner, but I think the best one might be that Jesus Christ Himself did it that way, and He’s probably our best example of how to draw people in to the Kingdom of anyone who ever lived. He dealt both with large crowds, and with individuals, and was skilled at doing both. An example of His ministry to large groups would be the time when He fed the five thousand (see Luke 9:11-17).
When He was ministering to this very large crowd of people, He taught them about the Kingdom of God, and He healed those who needed it. Then instead of sending them away to find food on their own, He supplied their need for sustenance by feeding them with the food that was available: five loaves and two fish, which He got from a little boy’s lunch (see John 6:8-9).
Jesus was just as compassionate and skilled at dealing with individual people, though many of them didn’t like what He said to them due to their hardened hearts because they’d refused to believe in His divinity. Regardless of their hardness of heart, He still listened to what they had to say, and then went to whatever their real motivations were ~ whether it was to trick Him, or to gain a greater understanding of who He really was.
An example of this can be found in the story of Nicodemus in John 3. Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee, came to Jesus in the middle of the night with questions. We know he wasn’t trying to trick Jesus because he came in the middle of the night. Otherwise he would’ve approached Him during the day and in front of other people. He asked Jesus questions about the Kingdom of God (see John 3:2).
Jesus went right to the heart of the matter, and started talking about being born-again, something Nicodemus didn’t understand at all (see John 3:3-4).
Jesus was talking about being born of the Spirit, but Nicodemus was still thinking on a physical plane, so he couldn’t comprehend what Jesus was saying (see John 3:9-12).
Ultimately, however, Nicodemus did come to believe in Jesus, because he assisted Joseph of Arimathea in burying Jesus’ body after He was removed from the cross, something he wouldn’t have done if he hadn’t believed (see John 19:38-39).
In my own life, I’ve experienced God’s love and understanding in many very real ways.
I come from a background of extreme child abuse, and it almost destroyed my life. My mother tried to kill me while I was an infant, my father threatened to kill me if I told anyone what he was doing to me, and I tried suicide nine times as an adult. Fortunately, God had other plans, and none of the attempts on my life succeeded. Thank God!!
God has never condemned me for any of my suicide attempts. He simply gave me an alter named Wordsworth to keep me alive throughout the period when I was suicidal. She (Wordsworth) wrote a poem about this called, Words, which I’d like to include here:
So many words in this wide world of mine ~
There must be a billion, three-million, and nine,
Or maybe a trillion ~ I know not of more,
But even a million’s enough for a door.
Words full of laughter, of light, and of hope,
Words that paint pictures for those who must grope
Through darkness and longing 'til dreams become real
And light in their tunnel means safety to feel.
Scrivening onward, word pictures I’ll paint
So others when thirsty won’t give up and faint.
Words will build true homes from castles on air
Where laughter and rainbows take place of despair.
S. A. Kuriakos
©September 28, 1991
My story fits into the narrative of the question for this contest because I’ve suffered greatly throughout my life, and it’s only through God’s lovingkindness and understanding that I’ve been able to survive. I’ve learned so much about God because I was abused, paradoxically enough, and my relationship with Him is much, much deeper and closer than it would have been otherwise, as strange as that sounds. He protected me from the worst of it, and kept me alive throughout. I’m so very grateful to Him for my physical, as well as my spiritual life. Christ means everything to me! I’m now writing a blog about how God is healing me from my past, and I work everyday to make sure that Jesus Christ is at the center of my life, and that God gets all the glory.
I know this has way too many words, but I didn’t enter to necessarily win a prize. I just hope people like my entry! And once again, I hope that God gets all the glory!