The gospels are full of questions that Jesus asked those who gathered round him or engaged him in conversation. His questions ask why â€¦, what â€¦, who â€¦, which â€¦, where â€¦, and do you â€¦
Here are just a few examples:
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?Â
[Matthew 7:3 ESV]
He said to them, â€œWhy are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?â€
[Mark 4:40 ESV]
And Jesus said to him, â€œWhat do you want me to do for you?â€ And the blind man said to him, â€œRabbi, let me recover my sight.â€
And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, â€œWho touched my garments?â€
[Mark 5:30 ESV]
Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbour to the man who fell among the robbers?â€
[Luke 10:36 ESV]
Jesus stood up and said to her, â€œWoman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?â€
[John 8:10 ESV]
Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?
[Matthew 26:53 ESV]
Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
[Luke 12:51 ESV]
When we read these words it is easy to see them as part of a conversation between Jesus and other people. But the real value and importance of these words comes when we read them as conversations between Jesus and ourselves â€“ Jesus is asking us all these questions.
And some of the questions Jesus asked are particularly challenging when thought of this way. Just read the following four quotations as though Jesus is asking you the question:
Why do you call me â€˜Lord, Lord,â€™ and not do what I tell you?
[Luke 6:46 ESV]
If we acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as our God then we should react accordingly. Jesus challenges us to live up to our acceptance of him by doing what he teaches.
And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, â€œWho do people say that I am?â€
And he asked them, â€œBut who do you say that I am?â€
[Mark 8:27,29 ESV]
Jesus first asks the disciples what other people are saying about him and then he turns to them and simply says But who do you say I am. And that is the challenge we face, not to rely on what other people say about Jesus but what we really believe and how we act as a result.
He said to him, â€œWhat is written in the Law? How do you read it?â€
[Luke 10:26 ESV]
This is a similar direct challenge. It is not enough for us to rely on what other people tell us about what is written in the Bible â€“ we have to read it for ourselves and work out what it means for us in our daily lives.
He said to him the third time, â€œSimon, son of John, do you love me?â€ Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, â€œDo you love me?â€ and he said to him, â€œLord, you know everything; you know that I love you.â€ Jesus said to him, â€œFeed my sheep.
[John 21:17 ESV]
Simon Peter was challenged repeatedly during the last of Jesusâ€™ post resurrection appearances to say whether he really loved him. It is the ultimate test we also face. Jesus asks us the question â€“ Do you love me?