Guess how many questions Jesus asked?

Imagine you are walking a dusty path with Jesus and the disciples, or climbing into a nerve-wrackingly small fishing boat with this motley crew. Yes, you will have ample opportunities to ask Jesus your questions (though, surprisingly perhaps, the documents handed down from those days record instances when bystanders "asked him no more questions" or "were afraid to ask him" about a matter).

Further, you can listen to his beautiful ethical teaching, the highest the world has known. Sit with him on the mountain as he calls on you to rejoice when you are persecuted, to lay up treasures in heaven, to love your enemies.

And yet, at the end of the day, we are still left with this question: who is this man? To get closer to an answer, we have to grasp a fundamental but little-noted fact about the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. He engaged his listeners, both friend and foe, in conversation. Jesus didn't just teach; he didn't just command; he also asked questions-and lots of them. The four Gospels-Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John-plus Acts, reproduce nearly three hundred questions from the lips of Jesus, such as the one he asked the cowering disciples in the boat.'

While many have analyzed Jesus's commands and acts as recorded in the New Testament, few have delved deeply into the questions he asked during his brief time of earthly ministry. Jesus scholars break down his teaching ministry in many different ways. Marcus Borg, for example, separates out parables and aphorisms as primary (doubting the historicity of some of the longer discourses), and blends in Jesus's questions with the rest of his teachings.6 And yet many of these questions have vital application for our lives today and deserve our close attention.

Stan Guthrie. All That Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us (pp. 15-16). Kindle Edition.


If you would like your group to ask Good Questions That Have Groups Talking, click here. Lessons correspond with all three Lifeway outlines and can be used supplementally or stand alone. There is a sliding scale that makes lessons available for all sizes of church.