Questions are at the heart of the Bible. Many of the major events—in the Old and New Testament alike—are marked with a question. God uses these questions to reveal important truths about Himself. Keep reading to learn more about the role of questions in the Bible.
Have you ever noticed that many of the major events in the Scriptures are marked with a question?
- When Adam and Eve fall into sin, God appears and says, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9).
- As God calls Moses to free Israel, Moses asks, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). He adds “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Exodus 3:13).
- When the angel Gabriel appears to Mary with the news that she will give birth to the Savior of the world, she asks, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34).
- As the Magi come to worship Jesus, they ask, “Where is He who has been born king of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2).
- When Jesus stands trial before Pontius Pilate, Pilate asks several questions: “Are You the King of the Jews?” (Matthew 27:11); “What is truth?” (John 18:38); “Where are You from?” (John 19:9).
- As Jesus is on the cross, He asks, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).
- At the tomb of the resurrected Jesus, the angels ask the women, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5).
- At Jesus’ ascension, the angels ask the disciples, “Why do you stand looking into heaven?” (Acts 1:11).
- On Pentecost, in the midst of Peter’s sermon, people are cut to the heart and ask, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).
- When Jesus appears to Saul on the road to Damascus, He asks, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4). Saul responds with his own question, “Who are You, Lord?” (Acts 9:5).
When the questions are asked, during these ten major events, God reveals something about Himself.
- When God asks “Where are you?” in Genesis 3, He reveals His love for His creation and His continuous mission to seek and save the lost.
- When Moses asks questions in Exodus 3, God reveals that Moses’ shortcomings don't matter. What matters is God’s presence with Moses. God says, “But I will be with you.” (Exodus 3:12). God also reveals His divine name: “I AM WHO I AM. . . . Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you’ ” (Exodus 3:14).
- The answer to Mary’s question reveals the promise of the imminent incarnation when Gabriel says, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
- The answer to the Magi’s question is this: “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd My people Israel’” (Matthew 2:5–6). God reveals in Jesus’ birth a fulfillment of this Scripture.
- Pilate’s questions are answered both directly and indirectly. Jesus is indeed the King of Jews. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. Jesus is sent by His Father from the heavens. He is God from God, Light from Light.
- Jesus’ question from the cross points us to Psalm 22. There we read many of the prophetic words Jesus fulfills on the cross.
- At Jesus’ tomb, the angels’ question is immediately followed by the answer, “He is not here, but has risen” (Luke 24:6).
- Likewise, at Jesus’ ascension, the angels reveal an answer to their own question, “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
- Peter answers the people’s question on Pentecost by saying, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
- Saul on the road to Damascus hears the answer to his question when Jesus says, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5).
Each question in these momentous occasions reveals vital information regarding God’s identity and love. As questions are asked throughout the Scriptures, again and again we are pointed to who God is—a God of steadfast love and mercy, a God who saves His people from sin, death, and the devil, and a God who seeks and saves the lost.
We ask big questions at momentous occasions in our lives as well. “How is this child to be named?”; “Who am I?”; “What do I want to be when I grow up?”; “Will you marry me?”; “Do you take this man/woman to be your wedded wife/husband?”
When we ask questions, in momentous occasions or mundane moments, they can lead us to discover who we are, and where God is directing our lives.
As we ask questions about the Bible, God leads us to discover who He is and how much He cares for us.
So, ask questions. Be curious. Seek answers. Discover what God reveals through His Word about His love for you.
Ten Questions to Ask Every Time You Read the Bible
Whether you’re reading the Bible for the first time or you’ve read it cover to cover, these ten questions will help you discover truths from Scripture.