I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day. I asked him why he classified himself as “non-religious”. His answer was amazing to me. He said, “It means I do not follow any particular faith or religious practice. I have nothing against it, but it just isn’t something I can internalize comfortably. I believe that there is a force that we don’t understand and science and religion are twin sisters asking the same questions. Besides I’m more comfortable with the questions than the answers.”
“More comfortable with the questions than the answers”, now there is a profound statement. Not one that is unique to him either, I think a lot of people feel that way. I am certain of the answers I have found, but realize not everyone has found them. But how can it be that we are more comfortable with uncertainty and wonder, than we are with allowing ourselves to believe in something we can’t see or fully understand?
Are the answers so terrifying that we prefer the questions? Is it God that they are afraid of or the fact that their life would change if they really knew Him? Maybe knowing the answers would force them to face something in themselves that they don’t want to give up. Or they fear they would have to become something they don’t think they are strong enough to be.
In Matthew 8:28-34 there is a story of Jesus casting out demons. The men who were possessed were so violent that no one could pass through that region. Casting demons out was not unusual, but this time He sends the demons into a herd of pigs. When the men were healed, and the pigs drowned, the herders ran to tell the townspeople.
This is where it gets interesting. Instead of coming out and worshiping Jesus, they come out and pleaded with Him to leave their region. The whole town. It doesn’t say they are aggressive or came with torches and pitchforks, but they came to beg Him to leave.
They were more comfortable with how things were. They could control how things were. They knew what to expect with how things were. If they let Jesus in, He might change everything. It was scary to think that He had that much power. Terrifying to think that if He could do that, the other things He said might be true as well.
It was easier to ask Him to leave them alone. Let them live with the questions of who He really was. What He really could have done. How things might have been if they had believed Him. It was easier to busy themselves with the business of life again and pretend it hadn’t happened. Close their eyes to something profoundly unexplainable.
In all the other places Jesus went, amazing things happened. The sick were healed, the lame walked, the blind were given sight…miracle upon miracle. How sad it is that this entire town missed out on Jesus. I’m sure they had lame, blind and sick people who needed His touch. But they were more comfortable with their current reality, than with this unimaginable reality that Jesus brought with Him.
So, have you found the answers? Are you looking for them? Or are you too comfortable with the questions to look up? Whether you believe or not, He loves you. Whether you want Him to come or not, He’s there beside you. Whether you ever ask the question or not, He already has the answer.
When He arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met Him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then, the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region. Matthew 8:28-34