Jesus had (has?) this insane ability to provoke thought, and invoke soulful change. He did it in such crazy ways though. It ultimately got him killed. Anyway, he didn’t go around saying the same thing, unloading bullet points on how to be a good jew or Christian, working up a defense against the religious “leaders”, or submitting his rebuttal with anyone that disagreed with his views performing intellectual gymnastics. He taught with and in metaphors, similes, hyperboles, stories, questions, guerilla acting performances, listening, and other crazy creative ways. His platform of engagement or his posture of engaging others was in no way one of “I’m right, you’re wrong. You just don’t get it”.
I say this in reaction to a sense of pressure I found myself throughout adolescence, pressure that was based on a premise of “defending” ones faith in being able to debate it which ultimately comes from an arrogant perspective or posture. We, the church, as a whole tend to view “mature” christians as one who knows the B.S. answer(Bible Study) or the “right” answer(among other things like attendance of events, where we tithe, etc.). Perhaps this is the foundation of why inductive Bible teaching has been so popular among western Christianity. So ones “answer” or understanding of following Jesus is based on the fundamentals of the one teaching/indoctrinating you, from which you are in no position to disagree with. The idea behind this is when asked a question, you reply with the correct answer. The notion or idea of discipleship in following Jesus is so much more involved. Anyway, we can go on and on, but I leave you with this parable by Peter Rollins:
One day the temple master called his youngest disciple to sit and eat w/ him in private. This disciple had been a devotee for many years and had carefully followed the ways of his teacher, learning to emulate the life of the Master as best he could.
But the great Master was now an elderly man and knew that he was close to death. He was fond of this disciple, yet he feared that the disciple was still some way from achieving enlightenment—not despite the Master’s diligence but rather precisely because of it. And so, as they sat together the Master addressed his disciple, saying, “you have been a thoughtful and dedicated follower of my teachings for many years and you may well one day become a great teacher. However, I sense that you are in danger of betraying me in your thoughts and actions.”
“Never,” replied the disciple in shock. “Since I was young I have followed your ways, never deviating from the path that you have ploughed. I never cease to reflect upon your words, and I never tire of engaging in the rituals and prayers that you have taught. I swear to you that I would never betray you, my great teacher.”
“But you fail to understand, my young friend,” replied the Master. “The fact that you have never betrayed my teachings, and the fact that you swear never to betray them: this is to betray them already.” [Rollins, Peter, Orthodox Heretic; Betrayal, p. 117]