This essay examines the living context in which Jesus Christ was subject to a constant stream of questions, requests, pleadings, taunts and tests. Friendly or hostile, sincere or tricky, selfish or compassionate, those approaching Jesus do not fit any simple mold, do not follow any approved procedure, do not always get what they seek, do not always appear to know what they want or even understand Jesus’ answers to their enquiries. I am more interested in the give and take, the unprepared dialogue, the inconclusive status of most of these encounters, than in any firm theological conclusions they entail. Theology has its place, but so does the casual superficial excursion through the day to day exchanges that confronted Jesus at every turn in the road. There is a truth worth considering in the confusion and befuddlement of those who encountered Jesus in so many different ways. There is much to be learned about them and about ourselves.
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