The Questions Jesus Asked Us In The Gospels

by Gospels, Jesus Christ

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

When beginning this project, I thought it would be nice to have a 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 many 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 Asked Your Saltiness

For your reflection, here are the questions Jesus asks us in multiple Gospels, using the New American Bible Revised Edition:

“…But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?” (Matthew 5:13 )

“Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid, with what will you restore its flavor?” (Mark 9:50 )

“Salt is good, but if salt itself loses its taste, with what can its flavor be restored?” Luke 14:34

Jesus uses similes of salt and light to explain discipleship. You are the salt of the earth, and your light must shine before others. Only Christ can satisfy us and truly bring meaning to life. 

What else have you turned to for “spice” in your life?

Questions Jesus Asked About Your Importance

“…Are not you more important than they? Can any of you be worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? Why are you anxious about clothes?” (Matthew 6:26-27 )

“Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26)

Jesus explains that you are more important than a sparrow, whom God still cares for. He is taking care of you. 

In what area of your life can you trade your anxieties for His peace?

“If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will He not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30 & Luke 12:28)

Jesus points our attention to the example of wildflowers and away from things that pagans focus on, like clothing, drinking, and what’s on the menu. 

Why are you grasping at worldly goals to give you contentment, O you of little faith?

Questions Jesus Asked About Our Humility

“Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?” (Matthew 7:3-4 )

“Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?” (Luke 6:41-42)

Jesus teaches us about judging others that without humility, we cannot see clearly and remain merely hypocrites. 

In what situations do you fall into a “holier than thou” attitude when you can only help once you have more clarity? (And could the Litany of Humility be a good part of your prayer routine?)

Questions Jesus Asked About Our Trust In God’s Gifts

“Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a load of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish?” (Matthew 7:9-10) 

“What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who as wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:11-13)

Jesus explains how God answers our prayers, and we can trust Him because He is a Good Father. 

What in your life have you prayed about and missed God’s answer because it wasn’t what you thought it would be?

Questions Jesus Asked About Our Understanding Of Forgiveness

“… ‘Why do you harbor evil thoughts? Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Rise and walk”?’” (Matthew 9:4-5) 

“Why are you thinking such things in your heart? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?” (Mark 2:8-9) 

“What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier for you, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?” (Luke 5:22-23)

Jesus rebukes scribes who call him blasphemous for healing and telling a paralytic that your sins are forgiven. 

Are your sins forgiven, or are you allowing obstacles to be put between you and the freedom of healing graces poured on you in the Sacrament of Confession?

Questions Jesus Asked About Times Of Fasting And Celebration

“Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom with them?” (Matthew 9:15) “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?” (Mark 2:19) 

“Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?” (Luke 5:34)

In response to being asked why He and His disciples do not fast, Jesus points out that He is among them and that is a reason to celebrate. There will be time for fasting later when it is appropriate. 

Do you feast and fast when it is fitting to celebrate the Lord and strengthen your soul against evil?

Questions Jesus Asked About Our Trust In God’s Care

“Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?” (Matthew 10:29) 

“Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?” (Luke 12:6)

Jesus explains why we should have courage under persecution and God’s care for us, wholly and completely. 

Do you not know how much God loves you and that He knows you better than you know yourself?

Questions Jesus Asked About Why We Follow Him

“…What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?” (Matthew 11:7-9) 

“What did you go out to the desert to see—a reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine garments? … Then what did you go out to see? A prophet?” (Luke 7:24-26)

Jesus is speaking to crowds about John the Baptist. 

Who are you willing to go into a desert to find (a closer relationship with God, excitement, a prophet, answers)? Are you looking in the “right” places for love, Christ, or peace?

Questions Jesus Asked About This Generation

“To what shall I compare this generation?” (Matthew 11:16) 

“Then to what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like?” Luke 7:31

Jesus laments this generation’s inability to be satisfied. 

What makes you feel like this current generation is looking in all the wrong places for God? How can you avoid those mistakes?

Questions Jesus Asked About His Place In Your Life

“Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent?” (Matthew 12:3-5) 

“Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?” (Mark 2:25-26) 

“Have you not read what David did when he and those [who were] with him were hungry?” (Luke 6:3-4)

The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath—not you, not football, not Pharisees or scribes. 

Where in your life have you dethroned Jesus and put another in His place to instruct you and guide you in different ways?

Questions Jesus Asked About Evil

“And if Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself; how, then, will his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out?” (Matthew 12:26-27) 

“How can Satan drive out Satan?” (Mark 3:23) 

“And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? …If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out?” (Luke 11:18-19)

Jesus is accused of driving out demons by the power of Satan, rather than by the power of God. 

What obstacles prevent or challenge you from believing in the miracles and gifts you have given?

Questions Jesus Asked About His Followers

“Who is My mother? Who are My brothers?” (Matthew 12:48)

 “Who are My mother and My brothers?” (Mark 3:33)

Jesus talks about His true family, His disciples—those who do the will of God. (Note, the word for brother is the same word used for cousin, like brethren. His Mother Mary did not have more children.) 

Who is your family? You were adopted into God’s eternal family at your baptism. Are you taking your baptismal adoption seriously?

Questions Jesus Asked About Our Understanding

“Are even you still without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that enters the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled into the latrine?” (Matthew 15:16-17)

 “Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?” (Mark 7:18-19)

Jesus declares all foods clean. 

What do you allow into you spiritually that hurts your relationship with God?

Questions Jesus Asked About What We Have To Offer

“How many loaves do you have?” (Matthew 15:34 & Mark 6:38 & Mark 8:5)

Jesus feeds the thousands in the crowd with a miracle of multiplying loaves and fish. 

What do you have to offer the Lord, and have you seen it multiplied in miraculous ways?

Questions Jesus Asked About Our Understanding Of Miracles

“You of little faith, why do you conclude among yourselves that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand, and do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many wicker baskets you took up? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? How do you not comprehend that I was not speaking to you about bread?” (Matthew 16:8-11)

 “Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?… When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up? … Do you still not understand?” (Mark 8:17-21)

Jesus speaks in ways that try to make us understand bigger concepts, things that are deeper than what human language can capture or describe. 

Do you understand how things multiply in faith?

Questions Jesus Asked About Who He Is

“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13)

 “Who do people say that I Am?” (Mark 8:27) 

“Who do the crowds say that I Am?” Luke 9:18

Jesus asks His disciples who people think He is. 

Who do your friends, family, and coworkers think Jesus is?

“But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15 & Mark 8:29 & Luke 9:20)

But, who do you say that Jesus is? And do you talk to others about Him?

Questions Jesus Asked To Challenge Us

“What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life?” (Matthew 16:26) 

“What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” (Luke 9:25) 

“What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life?” (Mark 8:36-37)

Jesus puts into perspective the importance of eternal life over worldly life. 

How do you put eternal life first in little and big matters?

Questions Jesus Asked About How We Will Endure

“O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you?” (Matthew 17:17) 

“O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you?” (Mark 9:19) 

“O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you and endure you?” (Luke 9:41)

Jesus heals a boy possessed by a mute spirit who throws the boy into suicidal fits. His disciples could not cure the boy. 

Do you practice your faith enough to keep Christ with you and witness miracles to others?

Questions Jesus Asked About The Lost

“What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?” (Matthew 18:12)

 “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?”( Luke 15:4)

Jesus says that the shepherd would leave his flock to find one lost sheep. A shepherd would typically not risk losing the ninety-nine by searching for the one, but God loves us each so much, that He, as the Good Shepherd, would do anything it took to find us. 

Who in your life is a little lost and needs some of Christ’s devoted love?

Questions Jesus Asked About Suffering

“Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” (Matthew 20:22) 

“Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” (Mark 10:38)

Jesus asks His disciples if they are willing to do what He is called to do. That is sacrificing Himself for us.

Do you believe in redemptive suffering?

Questions Jesus Asked About Our Needs

“What do you want Me to do for you?”( Matthew 20:32 & Luke 18:41 & Mark 10:36 & Mark 10:51)

Jesus asks people this question multiple times like the blind men asking Him to open their eyes. 

What is it that you want from Jesus Christ?

Questions Jesus Asked About Authority

“Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heaven or of human origin?” (Matthew 21:25)

 “Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin?” (Mark 11:30) 

“I shall ask you a question. Tell me, was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin?” (Luke 20:3)

Jesus asks priests and elders these questions when they question His authority. 

Who or what is the authority in your life?

Questions Jesus Asked About Mercy

“What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” (Matthew 21:40) 

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do?” (Mark 12:9) 

“What will the owner of the vineyard do to them?” (Luke 20:15)

The tenants in this parable killed the owner’s son. Jesus is the Owner’s Son, yet God the Father has mercy on us and uses His death to give us eternal life. 

Do you understand the mercy of your Heavenly Father? 

Questions Jesus Asked To Reveal Our Foundation

“Did you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builder rejected had become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’?” (Matthew 21:42) 

“Have you not read this scripture passage: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’?” (Mark 12:9-11)

Jesus fulfills this Scripture prophecy, as He does many others. 

Where have you rejected Jesus and need to establish Him as the foundation of your life?

Questions Jesus Asked To Those Who Test Him

“Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?” (Matthew 22:18) 

“Why are you testing me?” (Mark 12:15)

When do you test God?

“Whose image is this and whose inscription?” (Matthew 22:20) 

“Show me a denarius; whose image and name does it bear?” (Luke 20:24) 

“Whose image and inscription is this?” (Mark 12:16)

This is the “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” lesson. 

You are made in the Image and Likeness of God and belong to Him. Are you giving yourself away to another?

Questions Jesus Asked About Who God Is

“And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, and the God of Jacob’?” (Matthew 22:31-32)

 “As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, ‘I am God of Abraham, [the] God of Issac, and [the] God of Jacob’?” (Mark 12:26)

Jesus explains that God is the God of the living, not the dead. There is more to life than just these bodies. 

What makes you doubt the resurrection of the dead?

Questions Jesus Asked About The Messiah

“What is your opinion of the Messiah? Whose son is he? …If David calls him ‘lord,’ how can he be his son?” (Matthew 22:42-45)

“How do the scribes claim that the Messiah is the son of David?… David himself calls him ‘lord’; so how is he his son?” (Mark 12:35, 37) 

“How do they claim that the Messiah is the Son of David? … Now if David calls him ‘lord,’ how can he be his son?” (Luke 20:41, 44)

Jesus asks for the Pharisee’s thoughts and explains His relationship with David’s line. 

Do you embrace your identity in Christ, your truest identity? 

Questions Jesus Asked About What Is Greater

“Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred?” (Matthew 23:17) 

“You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?” (Matthew 23:19)

How does your relationship with God and reverence for Him enliven all the gifts you’ve received in life? 

Questions Jesus Asked About How We Use Our Talents

“You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?” (Matthew 25:26-27) 

“…You knew I was a demanding person, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in the bank?” (Luke 19:22-23)

Jesus tells us the parable of the talents. 

Where are you scared or hesitant to multiply the Good News around you because of worldly anxiety or fret over the greatness of God?

Questions Jesus Asked About Our Dedication To Prayer

“So could you not keep watch with Me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40) 

“Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?” (Mark 14:37)

Jesus calls out Simon Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane for resting during His agony. 

Who are you ”falling asleep” on who needs to talk, or is it more a matter of learning healthy boundaries? 

“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?” (Matthew 26:45 & Mark 14:41)

This is also from the agony in the garden. 

Who are you sleeping on in their time of need?

Questions Jesus Asked About Our Intentions

“Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me?” (Matthew 26:55) 

“Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs, to seize me?” (Mark 14:48) 

“Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs?” (Luke 22:52)

Jesus is arrested in the garden. 

What do you need to give to Him rather than treat Him like a robber?

Questions Jesus Asked Of God

Eli, Eli, lema shachthani? …My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

 “Eloi, Eloi, lema sahacthani? … My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)

Jesus speaks this from the cross. 

When do you feel like God has forsaken you and need to remember to trust Him with your life?

Questions Jesus Asked About The Law

“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” (Mark 3:4) 

“I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9)

Jesus responds to those who think He is sinning in healing on the Sabbath day. 

What teachings (such as those on homosexuality, pro-life, IVF, gluttony, chastity, or penance) or practices of faith (power of Sacraments, rosary, Marian devotions, intercession, purgatory) are you using to blame others for things that they are not guilty of?

Questions Jesus Asked About The Kingdom Of God

“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?” (Mark 4:30) 

 “What is the kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it?” (Luke 13:18)

Jesus gives us the parable of the mustard seed. 

When have you felt a part of the eternal kingdom of God, reaching all peoples?

Questions Jesus Asked To The Demons

“What is your name?” (Mark 5:9 & Luke 8:30)

Speaking to the demon who calls himself Legion, Jesus heals the demoniac of Gerasene. 

What names do you go by? Do they fit your calling?

Questions Jesus Asked To His Followers

“Who has touched My clothes?” (Mark 5:30) 

“Who touched Me?” (Luke 8:45)

The hemorrhaging woman is cured by touching Jesus’ clothes in a highly crowded area. 

Do you reach for Jesus in your pain?

Questions Jesus Asked About His Goodness

“Why do you call Me good?” (Mark 10:18 & Luke 18:19)

You have likely heard the phrase “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.” 

What makes you call God good, all the time?

What To Do With The Questions That Jesus Asks

Take these questions into your prayer time and spend a few minutes meditating on them. Ask Jesus what He is asking of you!

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