Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things.” Matthew 21:24 ESV
Why do God and Jesus ask questions? Doesn’t it seem silly? After all, God knows everything. I have found more than 300 questions recorded in the Bible. This surprised me. He knows everything, yet He still asks us. In fact, in the third chapter of Genesis (so soon!), He asked His first question, “Where are you?”
Why God asks questions
As we are reading the Bible, we should consider what he is asking us.
For instance, if you read God’s question of Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” maybe the Holy Spirit wants you to hear the same inquiry of God’s heart into your heart. He might be saying, “It’s time to evaluate the location of your heart. Are you in a place of trust or believing lies? Are you on a mental treadmill ruminating on reasons for worry, fear, and anxiety?”
Second Corinthians 10:5 reminds us we can, “Destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
By evaluating our thoughts or answering the questions, we can stop the arguments and lies against our loving and sovereign God. Just like God invited his rebellious first humans to come out of their hiding place, stop believing He wouldn’t forgive them, and receive His redemption.
It changes our focus
Second, when we focus on God and Jesus’s questions, we might begin to feel a little insecure. Does Jesus need to ask the paralyzed man by the pool of Bethesda (John 5), “Do you want to get well?” Does Jesus require the man’s efforts? Is Jesus so insecure He is looking for approval or cooperation?
I would suggest Jesus asks this question to help this invalid get in touch with his hopelessness or other feelings and beliefs. Knowing he had been there for over three decades must have drawn him into believing he would never be healed. Jesus is asking whether he has a victim mentality. Jesus is much more interested in the man’s heart condition than whether he can run around on his two legs.
All the questions from God the Father and God the Son are about connecting with people at a spiritual level. Physical health will always end in eternal death, but salvation is for eternal life.
Maybe you are seeking health for your body. That’s great! But your loving Lord may be inquiring into your eternal posture, which is more important.
It shows that He has the answer
Third, the questions God and Jesus ask most often point to their own perfect qualities. For instance, going back to the Garden of Eden, God, in effect, is asking, “Do you think I am blind and uncaring where you are hiding? You have wrong thinking about who I am. I know where you are—and I care.”
With Jesus and the man by the pool, Jesus seems to be asking, “Is your hopelessness preventing you from seeing my power to heal?”
Notice the intent of God’s questions—they usually point to His love, grace, faithfulness, mercy, kindness, wisdom, and so many other incredible, perfect qualities. He desires to draw us into a more intimate connection with Him by learning the truth about Him. Then we will seek Him more, trust him more and obey him more often.
Which of God’s and Jesus’s questions in the Bible are most meaningful to you?
Can you remember a time you noticed one of those questions and knew God was inquiring into your heart and life? What happened?
Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW.