Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it, you’ll die. What is it?
I’m a huge fan of riddles! I love to try and think outside the box to discover the answer to a tricky question. I love movies like National Treasure or Sherlock Holmes, where in order to take the next step in the search, there is a clue or hint that must be deciphered. Riddles can often be tough, and you can sit for minutes, hours, or even days trying to put the pieces together. But one of my favorite things about riddles is the moment of realization. When you finally get the answer – or when someone finally gives you the answer – you have this sense of fulfillment. But there is also a feeling of “Of course!” or “It’s so obvious!” Once you realize the answer to the riddle, there’s a feeling that you should have known all along.
Possibly more enjoyable than realizing the answer to a riddle is seeing someone else answer it. When you know the truth to the trick question, you get to watch someone’s mind do cartwheels as they try to come up with the answer. But when they get it, you get to see that look of realization on their face as they join the exclusive group of those on the inside of the joke.
Many times throughout Scripture we get to see people have this moment of realization. When people exclaim things like “I believe” or “You are the Christ” or “Surely this was the Son of God”, we get to witness this moment of realization in a person’s life. All of us have had a moment of realization about Christ. For a lot of people, it comes much later in life, and with that feeling of fulfillment comes the feeling that it is so obvious. They should’ve known all along.
In Luke 8:25, after Jesus had calmed the storm that the disciples thought would overtake them, Jesus asks them, “Where is your faith? Why did you doubt?” And as the sky clears, so do the disciples’ minds, as they have this moment of realization. They declare, “Who is this? The winds and water obey his commands!” We can only imagine the disciples’ faces as they try to figure this one out. But not long after this, in Luke 9:20, when Jesus asks them if they’ve come to a conclusion as to who he is, Peter declares, “You are the Messiah.”
Even better than having this same realization about Christ ourselves is helping someone else get there. We have the answer to the riddle of life, and there is nothing better than sharing it with those who don’t know and seeing them be changed by the realization of the truth. Don’t keep that realization to yourself. The best part of a riddle is sharing it with others.
What? The answer to my opening riddle? Oh, it’s nothing.