What does it mean when you don’t answer a question?
Not answering a question, is also answering it – but you have to be more intelligent to understand it. People don’t understand even the answered questions, but my approach is hope for the best and expect the worst! Whether you get it or not, I will haunt you until you get it.
There are questions which can be answered only by not answering them; they are real questions. Only unreal questions can be answered, only questions arising out of the mind can be answered.
But there are also questions which arise not out of your mind, but our of your very being. They are not questions of curiosity, but questions of deep longing, searching, seeking. They are not accidental – you have not asked them just “by the way.” Their meaning is as precious as life itself. Those questions can be answered only by silence.
Jesus spoke continuously for three years; that was his whole period of work. He started his work at the age of thirty, and people crucified him at the age of thirty-three. His period of work was very short, while Buddha worked for forty-two years, Mahavira worked for forty years.
There is only one question that Jesus did not answer. In those three years, thousands of questions were asked, and he answered them. He answered the way people have very rarely answered – with such sincerity and such authority that even his enemies used to say, “We have never heard a man speak this way! The same language, the same words, but from an authentic individual their fragrance is different, their music is different. Their penetration is deep; they touch your very heart.”
Jesus’ words are not just words, empty and contentless; his words are his very being. He is pouring himself in his words – and that makes the difference, the great difference.
But one question he has not answered, and that was the question asked by a sympathizer who wanted to save him. It was asked by the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate. Judea was a slave country under the Roman Empire, and Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea. He was not a Jew, hence he could not understand why the Jews were so mad against an innocent young man. Jesus may have been saying things which they don’t agree with, but that does not mean that a person should be crucified. It shows really the weakness of you who cannot answer his arguments.
The Jews had a great number of learned rabbis – they could have challenged Jesus. Jesus was an uneducated carpenter’s son; he knew nothing of scriptures, but he knew something more valuable. It seems he knew himself. And that is the only holy scripture there is.