Photography by Matt Wyatt

But Why?

I am currently walking our youth group through an investigation of scripture. The question we are asking is ‘Why was Jesus who was Jewish, accused of breaking Jewish law (blasphemy) and accused by Jewish leaders (sanhedrin) put to death by crucifixion, a Roman form of execution instead of stoning, the Jewish form of execution?

There are several possible answers but that’s not really the point. What I am attempting to do is develop or bring back a curiosity about scripture which seems to have been lost.

There is a natural curiosity and longing to ‘find out for themselves’ among children. ‘But why’ is the familiar phrase that comes to mind, endlessly repeated until the kid has some grasp of understanding or is totally lost.

Somewhere along the way, in the midst of growing up, our teenagers have stopped asking ‘but why?’ when it comes to the Bible. Too often teens who were raised in church become passive learners. They go through the routine of listening to the teacher without investigating the truth for themselves.

It’s like watching the news without checking the sources. You learned the information but only because someone else has put in the work. You’ve also only learned the version they told you, if something has been left out you’ll never know.

Encouraging teens to get back to their childhood roots and ask ‘but why’ questions will unleash an investigation for the truth and nurture the development of a personal faith. Sometimes they’ll gain an understanding and other times they’ll be totally lost in the vastness and complexity of our creator. Either way, they’ll be active students of the word.

Some good ‘but why’ questions for launching an investigation;

1. Jesus gave Simon a new name…but why?
2. Jesus didn’t seem to be a fan of the Pharisees…but why?
3. Jesus was born in Bethlehem…but why?


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