“After three days they found him (Jesus at 12 years old) in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” Luke 2:46

This liking of asking questions seems to be a pattern of Jesus’ ministry. Here is a small selection of questions that Jesus asked from Luke’s Gospel. Many of the questions are rhetorical, designed to make people think about deeper issues.

Why do you call me, Lord, and do not do what I say? (6:46). Where is your faith? (8:25). What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? (9:25). Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? (11:11). How it is that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? (12:56). Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not? (14:3). Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? (17:17). Why do you call me good? (18:19). Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? (22:48).

Furthermore, Jesus never felt obligated to answer a question. Sometimes he simply answered with another question. For example, the elders asked him, “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things … who gave you this authority?” Jesus responded, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me, John’s baptism – was it from heaven, or from men?” (20:2-4). Alternatively, Jesus would tell a story like the Good Samaritan to answer a question (10:25-37).

If we are to follow the example that Jesus left us we also need to learn to use questions effectively. Not necessarily giving people the answers but whetting their appetite and encouraging them to delve deeper.

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