The First Question Jesus Asked

by Gavin Linderman

Turns out, Jesus wasn’t much of an answer man, but He did like questions—in fact, He loved them! He was the Question Master. 307 questions are recorded in the Gospels and only three answers from King Jesus. Only three answers from the One who had all the answers. AMAZING! Paul wrote, “All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him” (Col. 2:3). “Hidden” is a good word. But still, why must it be hidden? Why not answer more?

Ironically, the answer to our question is found in a question. The first question Jesus asked also happens to be the first words spoken by Jesus in the book of John: “What is it that you seek?” Now, take a moment and reflect on how you would respond. What is it that you seek? Most of us, if we're being honest are simply seeking answers or solutions to whatever challenges or mysteries lie before us. But Jesus, in asking us what we seek, invites us into something different—a space where He is no longer reduced to our genie in a bottle. A place where He is asking the questions instead of us. It is here, in the examination of our desire that Jesus is able to guide us and give us the truth we really need—the truth that we really seek deep down. In this space of reflection, we are given the freedom to be exposed. Before, we came expecting answers—specifically, answers that allowed us to carry on as we were. Now we come expecting questions—specifically, questions that shape us and connect us to Jesus by creating the space for us and Him to gently navigate the jungle in our soul.

Jesus could—and sometimes does—answer our questions, but it is out of character for Him to give us something we can't be trusted with or aren’t ready to receive. To do so would be to give in to an inappropriate image of who He is. He is not our genie—He is our Lord. So in character with who He is as Lord, He leads and guides us in such a way that doesn’t disrupt the journey of transformation by wrecking it with answers. Eventually, we will get to a place where we can “ask and it will be given,” but that’s a place of intimacy and trust—not a place for genies and their masters. So, what is it that you seek?