The purpose of a great question is not information, it is transformation.
It’s well known that Jesus was a man who loved asking questions. In the four gospels, he is recorded as asking 307 questions. He is asked 184 and he only answers 3 directly. So he clearly values question asking over answer giving!
Questions are powerful.
God loves questions. The Bible is full of them and it provokes more. Socrates was killed for asking questions. In fact, so was Jesus of Nazareth. Why? Because questions lead people on a journey of discovery, faith and into the depth of God. Whereas when we keep things to simple black and white attitudes to life, it leads to control. This is why the Pharisees hated Jesus’ questions!
When talking with students, I have found asking questions to be more fruitful than trying to make points and persuade people of what I believe. Here are some great questions that you could ask students…
Questions about identity
“Which person has had the biggest effect on you?”
“Did you know any of your grandparents well?”
“Are there any (other) Christians in your family?”
Questions about worry
“Are you worried about that?”
“Why do you think that is worrying you”
“If there is a lie behind every fear, what lie is behind this fear?”
“What is your anxiety telling you?”
Questions about provision
“When has God provided for you?”
“Have you see God answer a miracle?”
“What is the biggest prayer you have prayed?”
“How would you like God to provide for you?”
Questions about Jesus
“If Jesus was here right now in physical form, what would you do/ask/say to him?”
“What do you like about Jesus?”
“Is there anything that confuses you about Jesus?”
If you were to sum up the three questions that Jesus keeps asking in so many different ways it would be these, and they pretty much sum up the gospel!
“What are you looking for?” - this leads to our yearning for God
“What do you want me to do for you?” - he is the servant King
“Do you love me?” - he is vulnerable, not controlling and open to relationship
So if we follow Jesus, we need to be more interested in asking questions than giving answers. Are you? Maybe you can join me in trying to ask great questions of whoever we speak to. Perhaps if we stopped trying to tell the world the answers we think they need, and started asking questions that provoke them into a deeper journey, it would lead to transformation.
Fusion have produced three decks of cards that will provoke your journey with great questions. Have a look at them here.
If you’d like to read the book called “Jesus is the Question” by Martin Copenhaver you can buy it here.