How Did Jesus Use Questions?

As many of you know I love to study not only what Jesus said, but his methodology as well. As a first century rabbi Jesus was well acquainted with the popular teaching methods of his time. Questions had an important place on Jesus teaching palette; the four Gospels record more than one hundred questions asked by Him. His questions were not merely to obtain information. They served a variety of purposes. I thought I would share with you twelve ways that Jesus incorporated questions into his teaching.

1. Some questions stimulated interest and formed a point of contact. He asked the disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of man is? (Matt 16:13)

2. Some questions helped His pupils clarify their thinking; for example, "What did Moses command you?" (Mk 10:3)

3. Some questions expressed an emotion, such as disgust or amazement. He responded to the Pharisees, "How can you, being evil, speak what is good?" (Matt. 12:34)

4. Some questions introduced an illustration. "Suppose one of you shall have a friend..." (Luke 11:5-6)

5. Some questions were used to emphasize a truth. "for what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul?" (Matt 16:26)

6. Some questions helped pupils apply the truth; for instance, "which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" (Lk 10:36)

7. Some questions were to provide information for Himself. "how many loaves do you have?" (Matt 15:34)

8. Some questions helped establish a relationship between the teacher and pupil, as in, "Who touched me?" (Lk 8:45)

9. Some questions were asked to rebuke or silence His opposers: "The baptism of John was from what source?... And answering Jesus, the said, We do not know." (Matt 21:25-27)

10. Some questions were rhetorical; they needed no answer. "is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?" (Matt 6:25)

11. Some questions were asked to bring conviction; for example, "Have you never read...?" (Mark 2:25)

12. Some questions were examinations. "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" (John 21:15-17)