It’s the Tuesday of the last week of Jesus’s life. He rampages
through the commercialised temple, overturning the tables of
moneychangers. He heals, he teaches; he’s hailed as the Messiah.
Who gave you the authority to do these things? his old adversaries,
the chief priests and the elders, ask. And Jesus shows us how to
answer hostile questions. Slow down. Breathe. Quick arrow prayers!
Your enemies, your interrogators, have no power over your life
that your Father has not permitted them. Ask your Father for
wisdom, remembering: Questions do not need to be answered. Are these
questioners worthy of the treasures of your heart? Or would that
be feeding pearls to hungry pigs, who might instead devour you?
Questions can contain pitfalls, traps, nooses. Jesus directly answered
just three of the 183 questions he was asked. Some questions he
refused to answer; others, he answered with a good question.
But how do we get the inner calm and good sense to recognise
and sidestep entrapping questions? Long before the day of
testing, practice slow, easy breathing, and tune in to the frequency
of the Father. There’s no record of Jesus running, rushing,
getting stressed, or lacking peace. He never spoke on his own, he
told us, without checking in with the Father. So, no foolish,
ill-judged statements. Breathing in the wisdom of the Father
beside and within him, he, unintimidated, traps the trappers.
Wisdom begins with training ourselves to slow down and ask
the Father for guidance. Then our calm minds, made perceptive,
will help us recognise danger and trick questions, even those
coated in flattery, and sidestep them or refuse to answer.
We practice tuning in to heavenly wisdom by practising–asking
God questions, and then listening for his answers about the best
way to do simple things…organise a home or write. Then,
we build upwards, asking for wisdom in more complex things.
Listening for the voice of God before we speak, and asking for a
filling of the Spirit, which Jesus calls streams of living water within
us, will give us wisdom to know what to say, which, frequently, is
nothing at all. It will quieten us with the silence of God, which
sings through the world, through sun and stars, sky and flowers.