Discovering The Power And Purpose Of The Questions Jesus Asked

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Published by Shannon Jacobs



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Jesus’ approach to discussion and teaching has long been one of the things that intrigued people and helped to explain his lasting appeal. He recounted several stories in a series of parables and posed numerous questions. Although the Gospels were published decades after Jesus died, his questions and teachings definitely left an indelible mark on those who bore witness to them.

Jesus’ questions have several degrees of significance; they are sometimes highly unclear and complicated enough for readers to spend a lifetime interpreting what they truly mean. So, what were the questions Jesus asked? Why do these questions matter today? And how do we grow in the art of asking better questions?

Why Questions Are More Important Than Answers

In our society, we prefer answers to questions. Most individuals would rather provide an answer than ask a question since answers indicate a higher level of intelligence. But the Apostle Paul cautions us that having knowledge leads to arrogance (1 Corinthians 8:1–3). In a way, it inflates our self-esteem and makes us feel superior to other people.

The truth is, that answers and knowledge aren’t as essential as we would like to believe. Jesus, who actually possessed all knowledge in the universe, chose to provide just a few answers. He can just walk around and spit out every bit of information he knows; however, this is not what we witness in the Gospels.

Indeed, Jesus does have knowledge beyond ours. Jesus recognizes that the answers we desire won’t fulfill our hopes. Instead, these questions Jesus asked make us pause, reflect, and determine what is truly significant in our lives[1]. Such questions lead us to ideas that we hadn’t previously considered. They pierce numerous rings at the same time. Finding the question requires some wandering, but once we do, it captures our hearts and interests in awe.

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What Were The Questions Jesus Asked?

Jesus asked several rhetorical questions in the Bible that were meant to perplex or even provoke people. In certain situations, Jesus utilized questions to deflect attacks from religious officials who were attempting to trap him.

In other cases, he utilized questions to learn more about people’s lives and to encourage them to examine their hearts. He questioned people about their worries and their beliefs.

1. Questions Of Motive

At times, when given a question, Jesus answered the question by asking another one. He utilized these questions to clarify the motivations of those who asked, which was an excellent reply. (Luke 5:22; Matthew 7:3–4; Matthew 9:4)

The Good Samaritan narrative in Luke 10:25–37 corresponds to this. A question about what is required for eternal life was posed to Jesus. He understands what’s on the lawyer’s mind, so he narrates an account and asks, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”.

In order to demonstrate to the lawyer that his approach to the situation was incorrect, Jesus tried to do so by posing a question. His motives were flawed. He was attempting to persuade the lawyer to assess his actions and his aspirations and realize that they were not right. In line with this, Jesus taught us the same thing in Matthew 23:13–22: “Which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?”

2. Questions Of Character

Jesus asked, “Who do people say I am? Who do you say I am?” (Luke 9:18–20; Mark 8:27–29; Matthew 16:13–15). What an intriguing question for Christ to raise. He didn’t want to know what people were thinking about him. He already knew what they were thinking, after all. Jesus had other goals in mind.

Jesus is guiding his people toward their true identities by employing these identity-related questions. Instead of simply saying who he truly was and what they should believe, Jesus asked a question to help them genuinely comprehend who he was.

A truth that is communicated to us is not really our own idea. This becomes a part of us and who we are as individuals when we have the time to pause and think things through in order to reach a conclusion. He’s making his people pause and wonder who he truly is.

3. Questions Of Restoration And Goodness

Numerous people were healed by Jesus during his time on Earth. But what’s fascinating is that before executing a miracle, Jesus always asked the crowd if they desired to be healed. Although the answers to these questions may appear simple, Jesus uses them to probe further. There are several other instances of this in the Bible.

  • Jesus spoke to the religious officials in Luke 14:3, “Does the Law allow healing on the Sabbath or not?”
  • Jesus asked a blind man in Mark 8:23, “Do you see anything?”
  • In John 8:10, when everyone had left, Jesus said to a lady, “Is there no one to condemn you?”
  • Jesus questioned a woman standing close by him in Luke 7:44, “Do you see this woman?”
  • In John 5:6, Jesus posed a question to a man who was paralyzed, “Do you want to get well?”

Most, if not all, of these are centered on a person in need. These inquiries made by Jesus highlight two crucial lessons. First, Jesus wants to offer healing because he cares about the troubles we are suffering. However, he won’t do anything until we let him. Permission is essential, so Jesus will not impose anything on us. Instead, he offers an invitation to live a better life.

The second point to remember is that Jesus wishes for his people to have the same empathy that he has. Perhaps you’ve noticed that half of the questions above are aimed at someone who opposed Jesus’ restoration and healing of someone in need. He is pointing out their lack of compassion by asking them a question. Jesus wants them to notice the wounded people surrounding them and react in the same way that he does: with compassion and love.

4. Questions Of Love

Jesus examines the sincerity of his disciples’ love for him with some of his questions. if they genuinely desire to have a life with him. In John 6, Jesus’ ministry is seen to have begun in this manner. After Jesus presents a challenging lesson, everyone in the room thinks that following Him is too tough, so they stand up and go. After this, Jesus looks to the twelve apostles and asks them, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” (John 6:67).

This honest questioning shows the goal of Jesus. Instead of servitude, he seeks an intimate relationship with his followers. Instead of ordering people to follow him, he will merely ask them to do so in the hopes that these people will decide to get to know him better. A similar question can be found in John 21:15–19. Before Simon Peter denied Jesus thrice, Jesus first asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?

This chapter of the Bible is amazing, and there is a lot that can be said about it. In summary, what we are witnessing is Jesus reconciling and urging Peter to rekindle their connection. Despite Peter’s failure, Jesus is demonstrating much deeper love. Jesus is making it clear that he longs for a profound connection.

5. Questions Of Invitation

Jesus begins his career and extends an invitation for people to become his disciples early on in the Gospels. It’s interesting to note that Jesus constantly asked his followers in John 1:38, “What are you looking for?” This inquiry reveals the essence of what they are actually seeking and pursuing. He’s questioning whether their present way of life is truly providing them with what they want. If not, trust me, and you’ll find what you’re really looking for.

Throughout his whole mission, Jesus persisted in employing this questioning technique. He questioned people’s intentions before extending an invitation to follow him. (Luke 2:49; John 18:7; John 20:15)

This is a crucial lesson that we must all learn right now. Instead of just telling people what to do, we ought to ask them what it is that they actually desire in life. A question, in contrast to given knowledge, can compel someone to learn more and delve deeper.

6. Questions Of Belief And Existence

A number of Jesus’ questions concerned belief and existence on earth. These inquiries were designed to make someone slow down, consider what’s truly essential, step back, and consider a broader perspective. These questions test our ability to shift our concentration at a time.

  • Can any of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your span of life? If you are not able to do such a small thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:25–26)
  • If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (Matthew 6:30)
  • Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:25–26)
  • What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Matthew 16:26)
  • If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even pagans do that? (Matthew 5:47)

Do We Need To Answer The Questions Jesus Asked?

Jesus preferred to pose queries rather than provide answers. This series of questions can strengthen our faith and offer us invaluable things today. Likewise, they impart to us an important insight into how we ought to behave in front of others.

When we have questions, we should ask them quickly and respond slowly. The greatest shift in a person’s life occurs when we allow them time to think about a question instead of promptly providing the answer to them.

Yes, Jesus needs our answer, but he wants us to answer them through our transformed deeds, actions, and in-depth evaluation of them. Therefore, we need to spend some time pondering the questions that Jesus delivered as well as how we could grow in asking such questions in our lives.

Why Do The Questions Jesus Asked Matter Today?

Jesus asked some important questions with his own words that still hold true today. And while he does not require our answers—no more than God needed Adam’s—his questions do encourage us to freely reveal our hearts, to voluntarily put our trust in Him, and to act vulnerably and authentically, so that, incrementally and slowly, we can be changed into the image of Him who cherishes us beyond all comprehension.

Furthermore, these questions assist us in strengthening our faith. Though some might argue that doubts and faith are at odds, it would be more accurate to say that our doubts and faith function best when they are combined. Our faith develops more through times of adversity, doubt, and ambiguity than it ever does when things are going perfectly. Jesus’ curious questions enabled His followers to challenge their own beliefs.

How Do We Grow In The Art Of Asking Better Questions?

As believers and followers of Christ, we hold the conviction that there is no one we should strive to emulate more than him, knowing he lived a life of love, compassion, and selflessness, always putting the needs of others before his own.

1. Jesus Asked Questions Out Of Curiosity

There are around 80 “why” and “how” questions in the entire list of questions that Jesus made. These two types of questions are perfect to ask if you’re curious about anything. In the Holy Scripture, Jesus questioned others, “How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and take hold of his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man?” “Why all this commotion and wailing?” and “Why are you so afraid?”

Great leaders are always curious. They aim to comprehend how things function and why individuals behave the way they do. But what strikes us is that the Lord Jesus Christ was both entirely human and fully divine. He was all-knowing and omniscient. Jesus, therefore, didn’t need to ask out of curiosity. He knew everything. 

2. Jesus Posed Open-Ended Inquiries

Jesus would frequently ask deep questions such as “What do you want me to do for you?” and “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” The answers to these questions that Christ asked must be thoughtfully examined. Most likely, we can’t respond to them right away. One factor that keeps a lot of us from raising meaningful and excellent questions is a sense of being rushed.

3. Jesus Asked Difficult Questions

The invitation to have a genuine, life-giving connection with God is the central message of the gospel. This relationship involves the ability to follow him every single day. Jesus was not hesitant to ask hard questions of his disciples and those who were listening as he was proclaiming the message of God through teaching, sermons, and healing.

These include questions like “Will you truly lay down your entire life for me?” as well as “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world but forfeit his soul?” which are difficult and challenging even for his disciples.

4. Jesus Never Asked Questions About “When”

We frequently ponder questions about time. “When will I get married?” “When will I land the job of my dreams?” Remarkably, Jesus never asked such questions. Whenever Jesus asks that type of question, he doesn’t literally mean “when.”

Perhaps when we live with an everlasting assurance of God’s plans for us, these questions don’t matter as much. Our questions become less important the more sure we are of who Christ is and the assurances he has given.

Most of these concerns may seem significant at the moment; however, when we already have the answer, we don’t have to live with fear and anxiety anymore. God has complete control. Jesus cares more about who we are pursuing and how we are developing as Christians than when things occur.

rocks with a question mark


Only God can impart significant spiritual truths by asking questions. Jesus never posed a question in order to find out the answer. Like a surgeon using a scalpel, he gently cuts into a deeper level of comprehension and awareness in us by asking.

These are only some of the questions that Jesus asks, as recorded in the Bible. These inquiries may reach the core of our being and endow us with the capacity to discern the best course for our lives. This way, it brings scripture powerfully alive within us.

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