The Questions Jesus Asks Us In The Gospel Of Matthew

by Gospels, Jesus Christ

The Word of God is living and effective (Hebrews 4:12)! That means God is speaking to you through Scripture right now. The questions Jesus asked back then are relevant to you today. He’s not just asking Peter or Paul or the Pharisees these questions; in some way, He is also asking you. 

When beginning this project, I thought it would make a nice list of twenty-some reflective questions for us to explore. For some reason, I forgot just how many rhetorical, direct, and interesting questions Jesus asked…

There are much more than twenty-some! They are a great opportunity to take Jesus’ questions to prayer. The questions remind us that He wants a relationship with us, to converse with us through prayer every day.

The Questions Jesus Asks Us In The Gospel Of Matthew

For your reflection, here are the questions Jesus asks us in Matthew, using the New American Bible Revised Edition translation of the Bible.  

“For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?” (Matthew 5:46)

Jesus exhorts us to love our enemies and be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. This is not worldly perfection but a wholesomeness, a wholeness found only in Christ. 

Where are you compromising your Christian duty to just do what the world expects of you—in manners, goals, career, academics, pastimes, concerns, and friendships?

“…Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)

Jesus teaches dependence on God. 

What needs do you have in life that are not being met, especially the relational and spiritual ones, and might require you to trust in God more?

“Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16)

Jesus compares good trees bearing good fruit with true discipleship and tells us that we will know good from bad by the fruits. 

What fruits of the spirit are in your life and what can you do to increase the good fruits and decrease the bad? Why are you looking for good fruits from things that by nature do not grow them (i.e. sin, distractions, fame, fortune, success)?

“Why are you so terrified, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26)

Jesus is awoken by disciples in a boat during a storm. They are scared, but He calms the storm. 

What storm is in your life that only Jesus can calm?

“…Do you believe that I can do this?” (Matthew 9:28)

Jesus heals two blind men who believe He can do it. 

Do you believe that Jesus can do it (whatever you are asking Him for)? Do you really believe in Him or are you turning to idols?

“Which one of you who has a sheep that falls into a pit on the Sabbath will not take hold of it and lift it out?” (Matthew 12:11)

Jesus appeals to the common sense of the crowd, explaining that healing on the Sabbath is sensible and appropriate. 

Where do you allow “rationalizing” to bring you away from the common sense that God gave you?

“How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and steal his property, unless he first ties up the strong man?” (Matthew 12:29)

Jews believed Satan would be tied up in the last days, and Jesus is telling them that time has come because He is here. 

What do you notice when Jesus is working in your life?

“You brood of vipers, how can you say good things when you are evil?” (Matthew 12:34)

Jesus points out that the Pharisees cannot say good things, like “Jesus is good,” because they are bad trees producing bad fruit. 

How do you practice integrity and cultivate goodness in your life and for those around you? 

“Do you understand all these things?” (Matthew 13:51)

Jesus asks if people understand His parables. 

What resources can you participate in or find to help you understand more clearly the role of Jesus and Scripture in your life?

“O you of little faith, why do you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31)

Jesus asks Peter this question after Peter walks on water, looks down, and falls into the water. 

Why do you doubt? What makes you take your eyes off Jesus?

“And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3)

Jesus rebukes those who say that they have honored their parents by giving resources to the temple rather than directly supporting them in their needs. 

What mere human customs do you place above the faith we find in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (which helps us read Scripture as it was meant to be passed to us)?

“What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?” (Matthew 17:25)

Jesus knows your opinion already, but He wants to make you aware of your own thoughts. 

What thoughts are you ignoring but should face and consider?

“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” (Matthew 18:33)

Jesus is telling a parable about the unforgiving servant whose master gave him pity but who did not show his fellow servant any pity regarding his debts. 

Though you had a debt that only Christ could pay for you, do you hold any “debts” against others that you should forgive?

“Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4-5)

Jesus answers questions about marriage and divorce. 

In this confused and crazy world, do you ever search for the roots to discover the original purpose of life and relationships?

“Why do you ask Me about the good?” (Matthew 19:17)

We should be talking about the Good, the True, and the Beautiful with others by nature of our humanity. 

Who can you speak to in your life about things deeper than fandoms, pop culture, and even deeper than politics?

“Why do you stand here idle all day?” (Matthew 20:6)

In a parable, laborers are asked at 5 pm why they are not working, and they answer that it is because no one has hired them.

If you were asked, “Why are you idle?” at any point of the day, what would your answer be? What if Christ Himself asked you why you were not sharing Him with others at any point in the day?

“Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Am I not free to do what I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 13:15)

In the parable of the vineyard workers, the owner defends his wages—all workers are paid the same after starting at different times of the day. 

When are you envious (wanting someone not to have something and you to have it)? When do you feel entitled to honor or rights that perhaps aren’t your to deal out?

“What do you wish?” (Matthew 20:21)

Jesus asks the mother of Zebedee’s sons what she wants, which is that her sons sit beside Jesus in Heaven. Jesus knows what she wants and what we are going to ask of Him, but He asks because He seeks relationship. It is also important for us to realize what we really want to ask of Him.

Do you speak to Him of your hopes, wishes, and dreams?

“…have you never read the text, ‘Out of the mouths of infants and nurslings you have brought forth praise’?” (Matthew 21:16)

Jesus responds to the indignation of priests and scribes with Scripture. 

Are you familiar enough with Scripture to recognize movements of the Holy Spirit around you?

“What is your opinion?” (Matthew 21:28)

Jesus asks this at the very beginning of the Parable of the Two Sons. 

What do you think—of Christ, faith, hope, eternal life?

“Which of the two did his father’s will?” (Matthew 21:31)

In the parable of the two sons, Jesus explains that even those who saw but did not change their minds will not be in heaven. 

Where are you missing “seeing” and where are you obstinate instead of faithful?

“ ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’” (Matthew 22: 12)

In this parable, we learn that you cannot enter Heaven as an imposter. 

What can you change to properly live a life suited for your baptismal garment?

“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how can you flee from the judgment of Gehenna?” (Matthew 23:33)

This is part of Jesus’ seven woes directed to the teachers of the law and Pharisees.

Do you ever think you can flee the consequences of your sins without reconciling with God?

“You see all these things, do you not?” (Matthew 24:2)

Jesus directs the disciples’ attention to the temple buildings, telling them of their destruction. 

Do you see miracles? Are you watching, for example, what is happening at Mass right before you?

“ ‘Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time?” (Matthew 24:45)

Jesus gives us the parable of the faithful or the unfaithful servant. 

Do you use what you have properly to serve God with justice and prudence?

“Why do you make trouble for the woman?” (Matthew 26:10)

During the anointing at Bethany, Jesus rebuttals the disciples for chastising the woman.

When do you criticize people who act for Christ, making trouble for those who do good by ignoring their efforts, criticizing their methods, or sabotaging their reputation? 

“Do you think that I cannot call upon My Father and He will not provide for me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? But then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?” (Matthew 26:53)

Jesus asks these questions to explain that God is all-powerful but still knows best. 

What in your life makes you question God’s ways, which are higher than yours?

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Image: Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

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