Originally Posted May 3, 2020
We’ve all heard that there’s no such thing as a “stupid question”, or “the only dumb question is the question that you don’t ask”. Regardless, most of us have been the recipient of the “dumb question award”. You ask the question and everyone in the room puts their head down and says “boy , I’m glad I didn’t ask that question”. You notice the “eye roll or the nervous chuckle”. Hey, great question Dave…thanks for asking that question….hahahah.
As a former teacher sometimes I did get a question from a student that told me that I’m a complete failure as a teacher… this kid has not learned a thing over this past year.
Sometimes I’ve imagined:
What if I was traveling this road for days on my way to California. I stop for gas and ask how much longer is the drive to California? The guy chuckles and says I hate to tell you this but you’re going in the wrong direction…this road goes to Maine. I may feel a little “stupid”, but I should be happy to know the truth and be able to turn around instead of continuing to go in the wrong direction. This was a good question I asked.
Well, despite all of this, did Jesus chastise Nicodemus for asking a “dumb question”. In John’s gospel they are discussing being “born again” and “Nicodemus said to him, “How can this be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this?” (John 3:9-10) To the casual observer it may seem like a “put down”….but, I don’t think is was. Nicodemus was a brave and holy man who believed in Jesus; he had deep conversations with him. With Joseph of Arimathea he helped bury Jesus after his crucifixion and death. Jesus loved Nicodemus. He was trying to help him understand the truths of God so he could help others.
It takes courage and humility to ask a question. You may risk looking ignorant or silly to some. Yet if you seek truth more than looking good, you will grow in wisdom and grace by asking questions. May we all be seekers of truth. Too many times in my past I was afraid to ask a question for fear of looking stupid. May God give each of us the courage in the future to be willing to seek the truth by asking questions. Truly there is no such thing as a “stupid question”.