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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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Questions Jesus Asked | The Power of the Question

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.’

But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.’

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’

Luke 8:42–48

It’s a puzzling question, but one that changes a woman’s life. ‘Who touched me?’ A crazy thing to ask in the circumstances surely, but Jesus wants an answer. Is it because he doesn’t know who has touched him? Or does he want the woman to know that he knows and approves of what she has done? Does he want her to own her actions and understand that it is her faith, not some magical power, that has saved her?

Jesus is often thought of as giving answers but, actually, he’s full of questions. Even as a boy, he was found sitting among the teachers in the temple asking them questions. ‘And all who heard him were amazed’ (Luke 2:47).

In fact, Jesus is recorded as asking 307 questions in the Gospels. In contrast, he directly answers only three of the 183 questions he is asked. Just three. And on at least one occasion he does not know the answer to a question addressed to him (Mark 13:4a and 32).

Jesus asks questions that can be easily answered (Matthew 5:13) and questions with no obvious answer (Luke 18:19). And he answers questions with questions of his own, either to drive home a point (Luke 7:42) or to expose duplicity (Mark 12:14–15), or to get people thinking.

It can be tempting for Christians to spend time attempting to give answers, even to questions no one is asking. In all of this, we can remain deaf to what’s actually going on around us. But Jesus’ approach is radically different. In inviting all and sundry to live in God’s kingdom, Jesus is acutely aware of what’s going on around him, and he asks questions accordingly. Jesus uses questions to confer dignity on people, initiate conversation, and lead people to a deeper knowledge – of God, the world, others, and self. In doing so, Jesus opens up the possibility of a new world for those with eyes to see.

If we are to be authentic disciples of Jesus, asking questions seems like an important practice to develop. Starting from an understanding that the better way is to listen before we speak, what questions could we ask of those on our frontlines today? ‘What are you enjoying most at the moment?’ ‘What challenges are you facing?’ Or, perhaps, a good place to start is with one of the questions Jesus asked, ‘What do you think?’

Paul Woolley
CEO, LICC

 

How does the fact that Jesus asked so many questions change our view of God, others, and ourselves? Join in the conversation in the comments below.

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Questions Jesus Asked | Who Do You Think You Are? (2/4)

Author

Paul Woolley

Comments

  1. We are so quick to say what we think because it can make us feel important. Several years ago I asked a question of hundreds of frontline Christian’s “what questions are people asking?” The overwhelming answer was” people don’t care what we know, they need to know that we care “. I have found through experience that once people know you genuinely care then they begin to trust what you know and there is not a need to have clever apologetic answers ( although they are important) up your sleeve. Asking good caring questions values the person and makes them feel important (rather than you!) and engages them in the process of transformation. Thanks for an excellent article.

    By Chic lidstone  -  1 Nov 2021
    • Thanks Chic! That’s a very helpful insight.

      By Paul Woolley  -  3 Nov 2021
  2. Unclean
    (Mark5v25-34)

    The woman with the issue of blood

    I was almost at the end of my tether
    I thought I would bleed forever
    An outcast was I to every Jew
    My hope was gone, my money too
    I had given everything to be cured, and clean
    To every doctor I had been
    Then I heard that Jesus, the Master, was here
    I pushed through the crowd, I was filled with fear

    I stretched out my hand, and touched His robe
    A miracle happened, I was made whole!
    After so many years I was set free
    But then He turned and looked at me!
    He called me ‘Daughter’ and said to me
    ‘Your faith has healed you, go in peace’
    It was only through Jesus I could be clean
    And whole again, from bondage free

    Eddie Currie

    By Eddie Currie  -  1 Nov 2021
    • Thank you for posting Eddie. That’s profound and powerfully draws out the rawness of the situation.

      By Paul Woolley  -  3 Nov 2021
  3. Wow! I’m deeply impressed by your thoughts, Paul. Thanks so much!

    By Andreas  -  1 Nov 2021
    • Thanks Andreas. That’s kind of you.

      By Paul Woolley  -  3 Nov 2021
  4. Hey, Paul! Conrad here — nice job. If your readers want to explore this further, they might be interested in my Zondervan book *Jesus Asked* and the free podcast version of it over on my website gempf.com/wp/jesus-asked-the-podcast/ … Blessings!

    By Conrad Gempf  -  2 Nov 2021
    • Great to hear from you Conrad! It’s a terrific book, and one I’ve drawn on in this series. I highly recommend it! Thanks!

      By Paul Woolley  -  3 Nov 2021
  5. Hello Paul, Thank you for drawing us into your questioning dialogue in the Lord-what do I think?

    Questioning is a QUEST for truth and love, a (prayerful) REQUEST for engagement with God (and others). He is the One who SEQUESTERS His Bride, as He desires to manifest Himself to us, and through us to others – Praise Him who is the answer to everything.

    On the Quest of Life with you, all believers and Him, the author of a(mazing) Grace aka Psalm 119,
    Bill

    By Bill Saunders  -  3 Nov 2021
    • Thanks for posting Bill. That’s great!

      By Paul Woolley  -  3 Nov 2021
  6. Thanks for sharing. Out of curiosity and in seeking further understanding, what were the 3 questions Jesus answered? And where can I find the scripture references?

    By Sarah  -  9 Feb 2024

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