After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions . Luke 2:46

Jesus is amazing. Even as a 12 year old, he astonished others. In our mentoring of others, questions are the best way to move a conversation further down the road to solutions.

Let’s look at two other kinds of questions, the Master Counselor asked, and how he can continue to teach us…as a 12 year-old!

Jesus Asks “Grace Events” and “Vision Seeking” Questions

In Part I, we marveled at the way Jesus listened to others with a humble heart and a non-judgmental spirit. In Part II, we learned how he asked astonishing effective questions. Today, we will examine two other kinds of question he asked – grace events and vision seeking questions . As we help our friends towards solutions to life’s problems and challenges, consider asking these questions.

Grace Event Questions: This kind of question leads to a personal remembrance of God’s grace and is an exception to guilt-centered questions.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish? – John 21:5

Peter was so moved by this question he jumped into the water mostly naked and swam to shore. Jesus may have been referring to the catch of fish with his disciples in Luke 5 – a grace saturated event that radically changed Peter’s life and caused him to follow Jesus wholeheartedly.

The crux of the Luke 5 event for Peter was his statement, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Jesus demonstrated his mercy and grace in Luke 5 and was beckoning Peter again in John 21.

A grace event question points to a previous time of grace in someone’s life. Past events often reveal God’s grace, current solutions, and provide us with motivation to change.

Ask a grace event question when someone is self-accused or they “cannot see the forest for the trees” – that is, they are too close to a problem to see their way out.

Jesus did this for Peter second time in John 21 with the fire he made to cook fish on. The only other time in Scriptures you see this word for fire is at Peter’s denial (when he was warming his hands over a fire). Again, a time that elicited a memory of grace. Ask questions that elicit grace memories!

Example Question: Tell me about your conversion, or…what is the most impressive thing Jesus has ever done for you? or…the last time you sinned like this, how did Jesus help you?

Vision Seeking Questions : These questions create motivation to produce future action.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” – John 21:15

This kind of question can tap into a person’s vision for their future and connect to their highest values, morals, dreams, and desires to the present challenge and provide the needed motivation to change.

I find most disciples were baptized with huge goals, dreams, and desires. Those motivations were not invalid – just the opposite, they were godly and by the grace of God, doable. We simply need to re-elicit those dreams in our hearts and give them back to God for Him to continue directing our steps.

Example Question : Instead of asking accusatory questions such as: “Do you really love God?” ask questions that focus on the future: “How can I help you to love God more this week?” or “If this problem was resolved, what would have motivated you to do so?”

People think in the direction of the question, so ask questions that lead to the future. Our minds go in the direction of the questions asked of us, so ask questions that point toward a possible solution or a future of change.

The church setting is the the perfect place for recovery. Learn how to set up a Disciples In Motion weekend visit with Tim. It includes many different opportunities for mental health trainings in the church setting. Click here for more information.