It’s called a non-sequitur.
Jesus was downright a master at it.
It’s when folks are talking about a particular subject, and you come along and insert a completely different idea, which takes the conversation in an unexpected direction.
Once, when confronted with a cynical young man named Nathaniel, who had pompously posed the nasty question, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Jesus popped off with a non-sequitur. “Behold, an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
Was it true? Was it an accurate representation of Nathaniel? Who knows? It was a non-sequitur. The boy thought he was going to say something stinky, and Jesus freshened it to something different.
Just like the woman at the well, who thought she was going to get into an argument with a Jew about how they treated Samaritans, and Jesus replied, “I can give you living water.”
You see, it wasn’t on point. But it chased away the stink.
Likewise, when he was conversing with a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who wanted to exchange compliments about being teachers of God, Jesus commented, “You must be born again.”
And he did it again with a bunch of people lamenting a tower falling on innocent people and killing them. Jesus’ non-sequitur was, “If you don’t repent, you will likewise perish.”
He frustrated his critics by refusing to allow them to control the topic.
A bunch of angry religionists brought a woman caught in adultery, quoting scripture about how she was to be killed. Jesus inserted a non-sequitur. “Well, I guess the person who throws the first stone should be without sin–otherwise, it wouldn’t be proper.”
The use of the non-sequitur peppers the ministry of Jesus, allowing him to spice the hot topics.
It is his way to chase away the stink.
Rather than talking about how crappy people act, or how negative the thinking may be, simply having the ability to steer the conversation in a meaningful motion by using a non-sequitur, without making apologies for diverting the subject, is truly an act of brilliance.
If you want to be Jesonian, you’re going to learn how to use the non-sequitur.
What non-sequitor would you use when somebody wants to talk about the end of the world and nuclear annihilation?
How about a non-sequitur when someone wants to grump, complain, or even brag about President Trump and Washington, D. C.?
Can you come up with something to chase away the stink of those who insist they hate change while living in a world that does nothing but evolve?
Jesus did not come to bitch about the bad attitudes that surrounded him. He ignored them by enlightening the mindset, using the non-sequitur, and in the process, chasing the stink away.