I’ve often told students and audiences that, if you read the Gospels carefully, you learn not to ask Jesus questions. When someone asks him a question they more often than not get deconstructed or Jesus probes behind the question to an even deeper personal question. So the scribe asks Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment of them all?” Jesus answers with two answers — love God and love your neighbor — and the scribe is challenged to go deeper than he’s even been before.
But what one of CT’s finest editors, Stan Guthrie, does in his new book is something I’ve never seen before. Instead of studying the questions people ask Jesus, Stan has provided a veritable sketch of the mission and message of Jesus by examining and grouping the questions Jesus himself asks of others. His new book is called All That Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us .
The book skillfully arranges the questions Jesus asks into:
How do you follow him?
Where is your thinking?
Why is character so vital?
What are some critical doctrines?
Almost 300 questions by Jesus are gathered under those five questions. Stan does something very helpful for all of us: in an appendix he outlines the book by providing the nearly 300 questions and the Bible verse for each.
The book is filled with stories and quotations — from NT Wright to John Piper — and observations and personal applications, but Stan writes seamlessly as he ponders what Jesus was doing and why and what he was asking and why. The book is a veritable treasure house of Jesus’ ministry and how it can help us today.
Pastors could build an entire summer of sermons from this book, or they could walk through Lent with it, or they could just do a big series … and I would call it “Jesus Has a Question for You!” The book can be read as a devotional as well.