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.
Today is our final look at the amazing 12-year-old Jesus and what his insightful, effective, and astounding questions can teach us. Review additional insights from Jesus in Part I, Part II, and Part III.
Let’s learn from the Master Counselor himself, Jesus.
Jesus asked questions that moved the conversation further down the road to a solution, conviction, decision, or understanding. His questions were probing and had purpose. Here are two more kinds of questions Jesus used to help others. Try them out.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” – John 8:9-10
This rhetorical question was designed to drive home a point and can lead to needed conviction. Asking an obvious question must be well timed and not be tinged with sarcasm. Jesus wanted this woman to fully understand his love for her, despite her sin and used the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of the day to help him.
Timing is vital. The obvious question is best used when the person is ready to hear it. Jesus waited until the answer was obvious. The use of this question requires patience and insight to the needs of others.
Example Questions : “Do you understand that God loves you as much now as when you sinned?” or…”Do you hear what you just said?” (when a person says something obviously wrong)…or “If God were angry with you, do you think you might know it?”
Information Seeking Questions
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” – John 5:6
Stephen Covey popularized the phrase “seek to understand before being understood.” Jesus lived this principle 2,000 years prior! This man had struggled for many years with an infirmity and had apparently been making excuses to not get better. Jesus, always one to allow for dignity, asked the man a question to seek more information.
Perhaps this man did not want to get well. Jesus gives us choices in every situation and we need to be respectful of this for others.
Initial answers may be what I call, “surface answers” – they just get to the surface parts of our hearts. When we ask for more information and begin to probe, we find more and more useful information, and allow for our friend to truly open up their hearts. A more meaningful conversation follows. Hearts heal. Connection occurs and healing starts.
This question is useful particularly when helping someone who has been in dysfunction for a long time and there is a lot of history behind the problem. Think to yourself, What would it be like to be in their shoes and continue to demonstrate empathy. Take the stance of “not knowing” and ask questions. Seek information. Ask more questions before forming a judgement or opinion on how to help.
I always ask my clients for their permission before I dispense advice. This does two things: first,I show respect to them and secondly, my client now owns the advice since they consented to it. It is up to them to take it or leave it, as they choose.
Example : “Can you help me understand this?” or…”What else?”…or “Can you tell me more?”
When to Ask : When the situation is complex or you have too little background. If your friend needs to get sin or emotions out or you feel they may be withholding or unaware of their feelings.
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.