Halfway through the gospels I was struck with the quantity and quality of questions Jesus asked. By Matthew chapter sixteen Jesus had pitched twenty-nine probing questions. As I jotted them down in my journal my heart was pierced, as if He were asking me personally,
“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Matt 7:3
“Why are you afraid?” Matt 8:26
“ Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?” Matt 9:4
“Do you believe I am able to do this?” Matt 9:28
“You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matt 15:31
Questionnaires are used as a diagnostic tool because they bring clarity. Questions cause us to search for ourselves and wrestle for answers. A couple years ago I listened to a friend pour out her heartbreak over a struggling marriage. I had no words of wisdom to sooth her acute pain, but I did have a question that formed as I listened. She later said pondering the answer to that question was a turning point. Good questions birth revelation. Jesus pitched this type of question frequently as a gentle way of allowing someone to see his or her own heart.
Good questions are also connecting. They mean someone is paying attention and listening. When we returned from oversees the usual inquiry was, “So, how was Africa?” I was overwhelmed by this question. Most people don’t have an attention span for listening so I would fumble to encapsulate a life changing experience into thirty seconds. After a few dozen stressful attempts to do the impossible, I decided to give a generic answer and wait for them to be more specific before diving in. Few ever asked anything else. One night a new acquaintance asked,” What did you learn?” My heart skipped as my mind raced to answer. A thoughtful question meant that he wanted to listen and connect with me. There are several great articles about asking meaningful questions of our children and spouses, as the generic, “how was your day?” rarely brings out any juicy material. Taking the time and effort to form a thoughtful question brings life to a conversation and relationship. Consider the first question God asks; “Adam, where are you?” This was His way to connect with Adam, to draw him out. Jesus often inquired for the sake of connection- He already knew the answers.
I’m sure there is a wealth of wisdom yet to mine in this study, but I already have a lifetime of lessons to live out from the first few chapters! What about you? What question in the Gospels has grabbed your heart lately?#redletterquestion