We have 100 examples of Jesus asking questions. It raises the question: Why did Jesus ask so many questions?
One of the classic examples of Jesus using a question to teach is found in Luke 9.18 where Jesus says, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
Why did Jesus ask this? Did he not know? That could be. When he became human, he set aside some of his god-ness. In another context, he said he did not know the day or the hour when he would return. I think it is more likely, however, that it was a teaching moment for the disciples.
This is what I call a warm-up question. It is a get-em talking question. I write small group curriculum for a living. I start nearly every lesson with this kind of question. It is a question to get the group to start talking.
People have said to me, “I have tried using discussion questions and my group doesn’t want to talk.” Do what Jesus did. Get them talking about somebody else. People love to talk about someone else. I think this is why Jesus asked them about what other people thought. It is always easier to talk about what other people think than to share our own convictions or feelings.
Once Jesus got them talking, Jesus narrowed the focus: “Who do you say that I am?”
Peter declared one of the most profound statements in the entire Bible: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”
Stated a different way, Jesus led the disciples to hear one of the most profound statements in the entire Bible. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Question: why did Jesus craft this centrally important teaching in the form of a question? Why not just say it to his disciples: “I am the Christ, the son of the living God!” It would have been a lot safer that way.
A lot of teachers don’t like questions because they are into safe and they know that questions are not safe. You ask a question and you have no idea what kind of answer you might get. If you make a statement, you can carefully craft it so you know exactly what you are going to say.
On this occasion of teaching one of the most centrally important things in all the Bible, Jesus chose to use the teaching method of a question.