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100 Questions Jesus Asked and You Ought to Answer

February 10, 2012 21 Comments

One of the bigger mistakes people make in reading Scripture is that they read it as a spectator. For them Scripture is a collection of stories and events that took place thousands of years ago. True enough, we are reading historical accounts.

But, truth be told these ancient stories are our stories. We are in the narrative. You are Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Deborah, Jeremiah, Ruth, Peter, Paul, Magdalene, Mother Mary, and, if you are prepared to accept it, you are also Jesus. As the narrative we read unfolds, we are in the story. We cannot simply watch what others say or do or answer. For what Peter and Magdalene and others did, we do. Peter denied and ran. So do we. Magdalene loved and never gave up, should should we. Magdalene had a sinful past and a promising future, so do we. Peter was passionate and had a temper so do we. But Peter also loved the Lord and ultimately gave his life for the Lord. So can we. Jesus suffered and died but rose again and ascended to glory. So have we and so will we.

The scriptures are our own story. We are in it. To read scripture as a mere spectator looking on is to miss the keynote. Scripture is our story.

In the light of this keynote there emerges another very important and powerful key to unlocking the text. The key is simply this: Answer the Question! Among the many things Jesus did, he asked a lot of questions! And whenever you read the Gospels and Jesus asks a question, answer it! Do not wait to see what Peter or Magdalene, or the Pharisees or the crowd say for an answer. You answer the question, in your own words. This brings Scripture powerfully alive.

So twenty years ago Bishop John Marshall, Bishop of Burlington VT., and later Springfield Mass compiled a book: But Who Do You Say That I Am? In the book he collected and listed all the questions Jesus asked in the Gospels. And he encourages us to answer the question. Bishop Marshall, in listing the question, gives extra verses for context and adds brief commentaries. However, I would like to list just the raw questions.

I will give the verse reference so you can look it up. But, unless you really think it necessary, avoid looking it up at first. Just let the question meet you where you are right now. The question may mean something for you that is very different that its original context. But that is OK. Just pick a question, read it, consider it and answer it, by talking to the Lord.

Read the list slowly, perhaps over days or weeks, often taking just one question at a time. I have attached a PDF version of the List here: 100 Questions that Jesus asked and YOU must answer. Again, ponder each question. Answer each question prayerfully and reflectively. This is not the complete list of questions but it is surely food for thought. Now, answer the questions:

100 Questions that Jesus asked and YOU must answer:

  1. And if you greet your brethren only, what is unusual about that? Do not the unbelievers do the same? (Matt 5:47)
  2. Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? Matt 6:27
  3. Why are you anxious about clothes? Matt 6:28
  4. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye yet fail to perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? (Matt 7:2)
  5. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? (Matt 7:16)
  6. Why are you terrified? (Matt 8:26)
  7. Why do you harbor evil thoughts? (Matt 9:4)
  8. Can the wedding guests mourn so long as the Bridegroom is with them? (Matt 9:15)
  9. Do you believe I can do this? (Matt 9:28)
  10. What did you go out to the desert to see? (Matt 11:8)
  11. To what shall I compare this generation? (Matt 11:6)
  12. Which of you who has a sheep that falls into a pit on the Sabbath will not take hold of it and lift it out? (Matt 12:11)
  13. How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and take hold of his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? (Matt 12:29)
  14. You brood of vipers! How can you say god things when you are evil? (Matt 12:34)
  15. Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? (Matt 12:48)
  16. Why did you doubt? (Matt 14:31)
  17. And why do you break the commandments of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matt 15:3)
  18. How many loaves do you have? (Matt 15:34)
  19. Do you not yet understand? (Matt 16:8)
  20. Who do people say the Son of Man is? (Matt 16:13)
  21. But who do you say that I am? (Matt 16:15)
  22. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life and what can one give in exchange for his life? (Matt 16:26)
  23. O faithless and perverse generation how long must I endure you? (Matt 17:17)
  24. Why do you ask me about what is good? (Matt 19:16)
  25. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink? (Matt 20:22)
  26. What do you want me to do for you? (Matt 20:32)
  27. Did you never read the scriptures? (Matt 21:42)
  28. Why are you testing me? (Matt 22:18)
  29. Blind fools, which is greater, the gold or the temple that makes the gold sacred….the gift of the altar that makes the gift sacred? (Matt 23:17-19)
  30. How are you to avoid being sentenced to hell? (Matt 23:33)
  31. Why do you make trouble for the woman? (Matt 26:10)
  32. Could you not watch for me one brief hour? (Matt 26:40)
  33. Do you think I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than 12 legions of angels? (Matt 26:53)
  34. Have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to seize me? (Matt 26:53)
  35. My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me? (Matt 27:46)
  36. Why are you thinking such things in your heart? (Mark 2:8)
  37. Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed rather than on a lamp stand? (Mark 4:21)
  38. Who has touched my clothes? (Mark 5:30)
  39. Why this commotion and weeping? (Mark 5:39)
  40. Are even you likewise without understanding? (Mark 7:18)
  41. Why does this generation seek a sign? (Mark 8:12)
  42. Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and still not see? Ears and not hear? (Mark 8:17-18)
  43. How many wicker baskets full of leftover fragments did you pick up? (Mark 8:19)
  44. [To the Blind man] Do you see anything? (Mark 8:23)
  45. What were arguing about on the way? (Mark 9:33)
  46. Salt is good, but what if salt becomes flat? (Mark 9:50)
  47. What did Moses command you? (Mark 10:3)
  48. Do you see these great buildings? They will all be thrown down. (Mark 13:2)
  49. Simon, are you asleep? (Mark 14:37)
  50. Why were you looking for me? (Luke 2:49)
  51. What are you thinking in your hearts? (Luke 5:22)
  52. Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I command? (Luke 6:46)
  53. Where is your faith (Luke 8:25)
  54. What is your name? (Luke 8:30)
  55. Who touched me? (Luke 8:45)
  56. Will you be exalted to heaven? (Luke 10:15)
  57. What is written in the law? How do you read it? (Luke 10:26)
  58. Which of these three in your opinion was neighbor to the robber’s victim? (Luke 10:36)
  59. Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? (Luke 11:40)
  60. Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbiter? (Luke 12:14)
  61. If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? (Luke 12:26)
  62. Why do you not judge for yourself what is right? (Luke 12:57)
  63. What king, marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king marching upon him with twenty thousand troops? (Luke 14:31)
  64. If therefore you are not trustworthy with worldly wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? (Luke 16:11)
  65. Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God? (Luke 17:18)
  66. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? (Luke 18:7)
  67. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth? (Luke 18:8)
  68. For who is greater, the one seated a table or the one who serves? (Luke 22:27)
  69. Why are you sleeping? (Luke 22:46)
  70. For if these things are done when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry? (Luke 23:31)
  71. What are you discussing as you walk along? (Luke 24:17)
  72. Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter his glory? (Luke 24:26)
  73. Have you anything here to eat? (Luke 24:41)
  74. What are you looking for? (John 1:38)
  75. How does this concern of your affect me? (John 2:4)
  76. You are a teacher in Israel and you do not understand this? (John 3: 10)
  77. If I tell you about earthly things and you will not believe, how will you believe when I tell you of heavenly things? (John 3: 12)
  78. Do you want to be well? (John 5:6)
  79. How is it that you seek praise from one another and not seek the praise that comes from God? (John 5:44)
  80. If you do not believe Moses’ writings how will you believe me? (John 5:47)
  81. Where can we buy enough food for them to eat? (John 6:5)
  82. Does this (teaching of the Eucharist) shock you? (John 6:61)
  83. Do you also want to leave me? (John 6:67)
  84. Why are you trying to kill me? (John 7:19)
  85. Woman where are they, has no one condemned you? (John 8:10)
  86. Why do you not understand what I am saying? (John 8:43)
  87. Can any of you charge me with sin? (John 8:46)
  88. If I am telling you the truth, why do you not believe me? (John 8:46)
  89. Are there not twelve hours in a day? (John 11:9)
  90. Do you believe this? (John 11:26)
  91. Do you realize what I have done for you? (John 13:12)
  92. Have I been with you for so long and still you do not know me? (John 14:9)
  93. Whom are you looking for? (John 18:4)
  94. Shall I not drink the cup the Father gave me? (John 18:11)
  95. If I have spoken rightly, why did you strike me? (John 18:23)
  96. Do you say [what you say about me] on your own or have others been telling you about me? (John 18:34)
  97. Have you come to believe because you have seen me? (John 20:29)
  98. Do you love me? (John 21:16)
  99. What if I want John to remain until I come? (John 21:22)
  100. What concern is it of yours? (John 21:22)

After all this you might have a few questions for God:

Comments (21)

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  1. Bender says:

    100 Questions Jesus Asked and You Ought to Answer

    There is a question that was not asked by Jesus, but was asked of Him, which I think appropriate to pose today to our bishops, still valid given that farce of an illusory “compromise” by King Henry, er, I mean, President Obama —

    Quo vadis?

  2. Michael Patrick Brewer says:

    So poignant! There is theology and then there is Jesus. I will travel with Jesus and his 100 questions and leave all my books on Theology on the shelf! Ready? Lets go!

    • Father Ryan Erlenbush says:

      My brother, let us not oppose reason and faith, theology and spirituality, dogma and love, the Church and the Kingdom.
      I too will travel with Jesus’ 100 questions, but the path leads through the theological teachings of my Mother the Church and of her Fathers, Doctors, saints, mystics, and theologians.

      [as to the works of theology written in the past 100 or so years, let us set them aside, and return to the true doctrine of Sts. Thomas, Augustine, Damascene, and the rest]

      • Yes, a necessary corrective here Fr. Thanks.

        • TaylorKH says:

          Ah, but Msgr Pope is passionate enough to ask whether he can answer the questions Jesus literally expressed in Sacred Scripture, and that is meritorious – an expression of fervent love for God. “Will I obey God in everything? Let me see ALL of his questions. Let me say “Yes” to all for which He desires “Yes” and “No” to all that He desires “No” and I will be whole.”

      • Beatriz Marginez says:

        Your “mother church? ” wich bible are you reading ? Mmmm a building a institution no no no WE are the temple of God! Theres no mother church, for 56 years they teach me that then…
        I get a bible and… Buy buy roman empire

        • Lynn says:

          Amen, Beatriz. The disciples of Jesus Christ are the church, we are also the saints – yes, that’s true and we are free to read the bible for ourselves in this great country of ours. It’s time people wake up!!

  3. Karen says:

    Do you not know how much your column helped me this morning? 🙂

  4. Geo says:

    Wow. Thanks Msgr. for the eye opener–as well as the mind and heart opener.

  5. James says:

    Do you not yet understand? (Matt 16:8)

    Incorrect citation. The correct citation is Matt 16:9.

    Matt 16:8 is “Quid cogitatis intra vos modicæ fidei?”

    (Why do all of y’all think with your feelings, people of mediocre faith?

  6. Ikedi says:

    This is a really nice list Msgr. Pope. It doesn’t matter how many accolades, degrees or worldly respect a person has, if he or she cannot soundly answer a simple question posed by Jesus or the Father then that individual needs to take a very very hard look at his/her life. My Judgement is inevitably coming and I have zero intention of coming up empty handed at any of the Just Judge’s questions.

  7. Fr. Elias B. Rodrigues says:

    A fool can ask more questions than all the wise can answer.Just accept that Jsus is the answer.

  8. George says:

    I firmly believe the founding fathers should be taught more than they currently are, but some modern theology has validity and truth that is more accessible to a world that needs concrete illustrations and analogies. Some of the founding fathers’ works are set in mysticism and emotional frameworks that are understood by few today. Relevant and truthful modern language is more useful than archaic, arcane, and abstruse writings. Perhaps if we taught the good modern stuff, our brothers and sisters might want to dig deeper into the ancient writings. That was certainly the case for me.

  9. Robertlifelongcatholic says:

    Now this is what I would call the art of conversation with God. It requires one’s undivided attention and focuses on the soul of the matter.

  10. Steve Von Hoene says:

    And people say the Church is not relevant today – GREAT post. Thanks for bringing Jesus to the present.

  11. Chinky says:

    Philipians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, tughoht it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.[By humbling Himself, He emptied himself of His Godhood to be come a man and humbled himself on the Cross to take our place.]9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things WITHOUT MURMURINGS AND DISPUTINGS:v15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a CROOKED and PERVERSE nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

  12. Jerry penner says:

    Gods first question in the garden of Eden, Where are you? The first question in the salvation process Is always where are you?

  13. kim says:

    Answering these questions may only be lived out as we live our lives by faith, the unction of the holy spirit and understanding of scripture. The holy spirit that is Jesus dwelling in the repentant believer. As Paul reveals, it is not him that lives but Christ in him. This is truly a difficult statement if we use man’s wisdom. Those saints before us grew into the knowledge that following Jesus is becoming a servant and living charity “love.” Their self being poured out as an offering to our most holy God and father through obedience and trust in Jesus Messiah.

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