Should I Answer Every Question?

In a one-on-one Bible study, it is common for our prospects to ask us questions. Is it practical for us to answer every inquiry? No. Is it wise to do so? No.

God’s instructs Christians to “always be ready to give a defense . . .” (1 Peter 3:15). That does not require, however, that we answer every question or that we answer a particular question immediately.

People were amazed at Jesus’ message and manner of teaching (John 7:46). So are we! Let us observe how the Master handled questions.

In some cases, Jesus did answer questions. When He was asked if it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, He responded with two questions and then said to render to Caesar the things that are his and to God what is His (Luke 20:22-25). That same day, our Lord was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” He answered that question, correct? He said the first and great commandment is to love God, and loving one’s neighbor is second (Matthew 22:36-39). So, it cannot be denied: in some instances, Jesus answered questions.

There were other times, however, when the Christ did not answer questions. When Pilate asked Him, “Where are You from,” the Bible says, “Jesus gave him no answer” (John 19:9). Prior to that, the Jewish high priest had said to Him, “Do you answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” What was our Lord’s response? “But He kept silent and answered nothing” (Mark 14:60,61).

So, at times, Jesus did answer questions, but in other cases He did not. At times He answered a question with His own inquiry, as when He was questioned about His authority and He asked in return about the source of John’s baptism (Mark 11:28-30).

Answers to some questions need to be delayed. If someone asks you why we do not use mechanical instruments of music when we praise God, do not answer that question until you have, with an open Bible, established the word of God as our standard of authority. Tell the inquirer that you will answer that question at a later time. If you answer such a question before laying a proper foundation, though you may give a Bible answer with a good spirit, in all likelihood, they will not be ready to accept the answer.

My personal desire is not to engage in a question-and-answer cycle, but to arrange an appointment for a one-on-one study with our Bibles open. If we can do that, as the teacher, we must control the topics and the order in which we will cover them. Failing to answer certain questions is not rude on our part. It is wise.

Roger D. Campbell