How Many Questions Did Jesus Answer? Taylor Holmes August 4, 2011 featured, Ministry 57 So, How Many Questions Did Jesus Answer? Do you know? Do you care? How many questions did Jesus ask? How many questions did the disciples ask? How many did Jesus ask the disciples? Is it even relevant? I ask again – How Many Questions Did Jesus Answer, and what does it mean to you today? I will walk you through a lot of the answers to these questions here in this post. But I could never anticipate every question you want to know the answer to, and so I recommend picking up the data and asking it the questions you really want to understand. So to that end, instead of keeping all this data to myself that I have spent the past six years working on, I decided to make the raw information available to everyone for a very minimal cost. (Now matter how many are sold it will never cover my raw cost in Starbucks while doing all this research!) But by getting the data you’ll be able to do everything I list below as well as so many more things. Like, how many questions did Peter ask? Or, how many questions did Nathan get asked by Christ? What about all the interactions with women, how did they break down in questions and answers? What were the parallel verse references for all the questions Jesus answered? Which questions were hostile questions asked of Jesus, that He still chose to answer? And on and on it goes. To do all of that and more, you really just need the entire data set to mess around with. and I totally had you in mind when I created these resources… So many people have been asking me for this data, and my in depth thoughts on the data that I decided to finally create an e-book, and all the questions and answers in easy to use downloadable Excel and Access Database formats. And I’ve made it available to you over on questionsjesusanswered.com – I’ve made my ebook, the excel pivot table and the database all available for cheap. (Cheap considering I’ve been pull this information together for over 4 years now.) Out there at questionsjesusanswered.com you can pick up just my ebook, or the pivot table, or the Access data as well. Questions for the Creator eBook – is a great read, and overview of the questions that were asked of Jesus and some of the thoughts and reactions we should be having to each type of question. Whether they are hostile, friendly, baffled, or what have you… we too should respond to Christ with our questions appropriately. Questions Excel Pivot Table – For those of you who don’t want full control of the data, you just want to be able see the questions in a pivot table… this is for you. Questions Access Database – I have also created an Access database that will let you query, sort and tear apart the questions any way that you would like. Want to see all the questions just the disciples asked that Jesus answered? Just ask the database and it’ll show you the list. Want to know which hostile questions were answered by Jesus? Heck, even if you want to know the questions that Jesus asked, that He answered Himself… that’s in there too. Or what about all the questions Jesus asked and how many were answered and how many were not answered? The Access Database is the absolute perfect resource for these questions. Get the data over at QuestionsJesusAnswered.com now. But this journey to these resources all started on a particularly bad day. Nothing really tragic or intense, mind you – just the opposite of a good day. And just like that several ideas came to me all at once: – I wish that when I prayed I could hear God speak. – It would be cool if I were able to ask God questions directly. – Or if ANYONE had ever asked God questions – it’d be neat to listen in. – Wait. Jesus came to Earth. And talked to people… – And we have the Bible documenting some of their conversations. – What did people ask Jesus? Maybe its relevant to my life! Then, a couple days later (or maybe the same day, its been a while, I can’t remember very clearly now) in a podcasted sermon I was listening to a Pastor who said that Jesus only answered questions posed to him a handful of times. And now that I think back to it, I bet the individual making the statement was just being hyperbolistic. Exaggerative even. But I was so taken aback by the comment that I was just completely flummoxed. So I searched on Google and voila’ found my answer in the first hit! No, actually I didn’t. I searched. And I searched. And searched. And while I saw some lists of the questions and some of the answers… I just didn’t find what I was looking for. So I counted. Over the years (six to be exact) I have attempted to tighten the thumbscrews on this dataset so that it would be as accurate as physically possible. This isn’t the simplest of data sets to analyze. For example, would you include the mother of the son’s of Zebedees, speaking on their behalf, a question from the disciples? Right. It’s just a bit tricky at times. How Many Questions Did Jesus Answer? Yeah. I know – who does that? Um, apparently I do. So yeah, I counted all the questions in the Gospels. It was actually easier and yet a whole lot harder than you think at the same time. The first pass I attempted, I took the Gospels and programmatically stripped every sentence that didn’t have a question mark. And I counted them up. Simple really. I was ecstatic. The number was huge! But then I realized something fairly basic and terribly obvious a bit too late. In the pile of questions that were left over there were tons and tons of duplicate questions. As I’m sure you are already aware, the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) basically retell the same story of Jesus’ life from 4 different perspectives. Sure, there are differences and nuances. But basically they are the same. So yeah, most of the questions repeated over, and over, and over again. When I tried to align the questions with all of the same events across the gospels it was like basically trying to untangle a rat’s nest with chopsticks. And eventually after months of trying to tease apart the data I gave up on that effort and decided to start over. This time I started with a parallel Bible and only included a question once from each of the events listed across all four chapters of the Bible. So if during the feeding of 5,000 a question was asked that was documented in both Matthew and Luke lets say then I only included the question once. With this approach I was successful this time over the course of a single week. Now, I will caveat the info I will list below with this legalese – I am not a theologian. I am also not done refining and cleaning up the data. But I did try to use common sense where I could and occasionally made a few random judgement calls in order to try and make sense of the pile of data. These results should be within about 98%. But they aren’t perfect I’m sure. JESUS ANSWERED A TOTAL OF 113 QUESTIONS So, during Christ’s time on planet earth, the gospels record 113 questions that Jesus answered. That’s a far cry from a “handful” of answers. So what that means is that on over a hundred separate occasions Christ was asked a question which he gave a distinct answer to. Now, it may not be the answer the person was looking for, but He is God – and that is His prerogative for sure. Of the 113 questions Jesus was asked, Jesus asked 52 Himself. WHAT?! I hear you saying. Well, yeah, Jesus did quite a bit of that. That’s over a third of all the questions He asked were answered Himself. Let me tell you this… if Jesus were here today, and if He were to ask me a question – just one question – I’d really prefer it if He were to answer it as opposed to me trying to give it a go. Jesus: “Taylor, what would a man give in exchange for his soul?” Taylor: “Um, an X-box? No, no – I got this one!! Wait, um… a totally hot pink Diablo Lamborghini. Hot, huh? Right?” Ok, so I jest, just a bit. But seriously, I wouldn’t even know where to begin with attempting to answer some of the questions Jesus asked the disciples. And they didn’t either apparently, because Jesus stepped in and helped them out. To the tune of 37 different times. Or, try this example from after Jesus’ resurrection on for size: Jesus: “Taylor, why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” Taylor: “Ok, I’ll be honest here Jesus. You just totally materialized out of thin air. That’s freaky wicked cool… but scary too. And by the by, you have holes in your hands still… and the last thing I knew, you were dead. In a tomb. And now, you are here. I’m thinking Christ’s response was a whole lot better than mine: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” So while my first thought was disappointment that Christ spent a third of His time answering His own questions as opposed to answering other’s questions… I realized how much better His answers would be than anyone else’s. JESUS ANSWERED 61 QUESTIONS So if Jesus answered 113 questions, 52 of which were His own questions… how many questions did He answer from others? If you are quick on the math uptick you probably already guessed that there 61 of those. And you’d be right. The real number I was dying to get my hands on was this one. How many other people were brave enough to ask Jesus questions and how many did He actually answer? 61 is the answer. Included in these questions and answers is the famous conversation between Nicodemus, the repetitive question and answer between Peter and Jesus, as well as the infamous questioning by the Rich Young Ruler, among many others. This is where the meat of the interactions between Jesus and the Pharisees as well as the High Priests. But if Christ answered 61 questions – how many did He choose not answer? I mean there has to be a ton of those, right? Most questions humans ask are dumb. So wouldn’t He just choose not to answer a huge pile of them? I assumed so. JESUS DIDNT ANSWER 2 QUESTIONS That’s it. Only two did He take a pass on. And all of those were prophesied He wouldn’t answer. Basically the two questions Jesus didn’t answer were the hostile questions he was asked just before he was crucified. And also the question by Pilate He refused to answer. That is astounding really. I mean, we are human after all, and He is God. I would have had a few days wherein I just wouldn’t have felt like putting up with the time bound, finite nature of all these pesky, silly questions that we tend to ask. THE DISCIPLES ASKED 25 QUESTIONS So, of the 61 total questions that Jesus was asked, I can authoritatively state that the Disciples (when designated as “The Disciples”) asked nineteen questions. If you include into that number all the named individual questions that the disciples asked, (which were, Phillip, Thomas, Peter, and Judas Iscariat) that number jumps to 25 total. These were some of the most intimate conversations Christ had during his time on earth. I think of the rapid fire question – answer, question – answer, question – answer, between Jesus and Peter as a prime example. “Simon son of John, do you agape me more than these?” “Yes, Lord, you know I phileo you.” “Feed my lambs.” “Simon son of John, do you agape me?” “Yes, Lord, you know I phileo you.” “Take care of my sheep.” “Simon son of John, do you phileo me?” “Lord you know all things; you know I phileo you.” “Feed my sheep.” Some were less intimate but still just as interesting like the discussion between the Jesus and the disciples regarding the poll tax a few officials outside the house were wanting to collect. Should we pay? Should we not? Regardless, so that we don’t offend – go and catch a fish, then give them the money that you find in the fish’s mouth. 1. Question 2. Answer 3. Miracle The disciples had one of the most coveted seats in all of the history of the earth. They had no less than direct daily interaction with the God Man. To know everything they discussed would be priceless, absolutely priceless. And yet right here in front of us we have 25 key questions that Jesus answered – right here for the studying. JESUS ASKED 22 QUESTIONS OF THE DISCIPLES Now, conversely, if you are interested in all the questions the Disciples were asked by Jesus, I was too. To “The Disciples” Jesus asked twelve. If you include that individual disciples that were specifically named the number jumps to 22. (The two individuals that Jesus asked questions of by name were Nathan and Peter.) 6 QUESTION INTERACTIONS WITH WOMEN Of the 72 questions Jesus answered, 4 of the questions were asked by women. That’s 7% of all the questions. May not seem like a lot to you, but that’s pretty significant. Obviously the actual number of questions were significantly higher than this, but to have four recorded questions is really significant. I think of the Canaanite woman at the well who Jesus shouldn’t have been even looking at let alone having a full blown conversation about who she’s sleeping with. Jesus also was noted for asking questions of two women, once of his mother, and the other was of the woman caught in Adultery. Obviously I could go on like this for days. How many hostile questions were asked (hint, a lot.) What about all 14 questions Jesus asked multitudes? What was he constantly asking them? How about the 10 different questions he asked of the Pharisees and the Sadducees? What was that all about? Or, how about this? Why did Jesus ask 52 questions that He chose to answer Himself? What were they? There are so many interesting details in this data that I could talk about for months and months. But instead of talking generically about a all the data points I’ve decided to make the data available to you directly. I have created a zip file of my Questions Access database. I have also created an Excel pivot table as well for ease of use for those of you who may not understand how to customize the database personally. Inside the database I have also created views into the data for some of the most obvious sorts of the data. (Questions by Pharisees & Sadducees, questions with women, questions by the disciples, hostile questions, etc etc.) But mostly, the biggest bonus, is that you can ask the data anything you want. And to find out more, just head on over to QuestionsJesusAnswered.com. 57 Responses Stephanie T. Green August 5, 2011 Very interesting in deed! I am thankful for the high percentage of questions Jesus asked and answered himself. Your study reminds me of a similar but half-hearted attempt I made last year concerning intercessory prayer. We’re told the Lord’s prayer is our model to pattern our prayer life after, but little to none of it addresses intercessory prayer. Yet every time I turn around, I’m being asked to pray for another person and whatever situation they’re in. Sometimes I feel like I spend about 80% of my prayer life addressing the needs of friends, family or strangers. I don’t mind sacrificing the time to do so but I’m at a complete loss as to what power my prayers have when He knows the need, the timing, the outcome and what needs to be done. Me? I don’t know squat. So I set off to keep track of every instance in the NT where someone prayed for another person, thinking there would be many. I think I got through 1 Thess before I gave up. There are tons of examples, especially from Paul. So I concluded: don’t know how, don’t know why….but pretty sure we’re supposed to! 🙂 Reply Taylor August 6, 2011 Hey there Stephanie! I would LOVE to read your study on intercessory prayer. That would be very fascinating indeed. I’ve heard it said that the “Lord’s Prayer” is anything but the Lord’s. It would be more accurate to call it the Disciple’s prayer, as there are things in that prayer that Jesus wouldn’t have prayed. But yeah, you are right, I do think we are to pray for others, but the why’s are a bit elusive to me. I mean beyond the obvious. Maybe our prayers help us to have God’s heart, and not our own. We know that God gives us the desires of our heart… and he also gives us our desires… and therefore we are better aligned with Him. Kind of a chicken egg problem. But ultimately our prayer should be for His Will… and not our own. But your study sounds brilliant. I’d love to see it completed through 1 Thess! Heheh. Take care… Reply Larry Lenard December 5, 2011 I was asked the question, “How many questions was Jesus asked?” I know that your answer is a subset of this question, so I wondered if you had the found this answer in your initial research. Thanks. Reply Taylor December 5, 2011 Hey there Larry, By that question here’s what I think you are asking: How many questions was Jesus asked by other people regardless of whethet Jesus answeed it or not, correct? I can’t believe I didn’t spell that out buafter rereading Reply Mukundisi December 8, 2015 JESUS DID NOT ANSWER 2 QUESTIONS,Please help me with verses. Reply Taylor Holmes December 8, 2015 Matthew 26:68 – “Prophesy to us, who is the one who hit you?” Luke 22:67, Mark 14:60, & Matthew 26:62 – “The High Priest stood up and said to Him, “Do you not answer? What it is that these men are testifying against you?” Taylor December 5, 2011 Gah! Sorry about that – iPhone fat finger does it every time. So after rereading my post again I realized I hadn’t included that info. But by doing some math from what I did post above I was able to guess that the number you are looking for (if I stated it correctly above) would be – that he was asked 75 unique questions throughout the gospels. That help? Thanks, Taylor Reply Larry Lenard December 5, 2011 Now I’m confused. Your original post said he answered 109, but only 72 were asked by others. The question I had was how many questions were there that Jesus didn’t answer, or may have answered with a question. I have a friend who thinks the total number of questions recorded in the gospels is over 200. I hope that helps clarify my question. Reply Taylor December 5, 2011 Wait for it, Let me go back to my excel sheet and I’ll see if I can’t get you a better answer. But my first guess is that your friend is listing every question Jesus was regardless of whether it is the same story recorded in more than one gospel. Make sense? I removed all te duplicate questions. So for example, at the Last Supper it is recorded in more than one gospel – the question “who will betray you Lord?” is listed multiple times. I only counted that question once. I’ll count in a minute and let you know soon… Taylor Reply Taylor December 5, 2011 Alright, So I really tried to clean up the excel sheet and really evaluated again if the question was really answered or not – which really is quite subjective sometimes – and came up with the following data: How Many Questions Was Jesus Asked? 81 – Number of unique questions asked of Jesus 73 – Number of unique questions Jesus answered 8 – Number of unique questions Jesus didn’t answer How Many Questions Did Jesus Ask? 81 – Number of unique questions asked by Jesus 38 – Number of unique questions answered by Jesus 43 – Number of unique questions answered by others The total number of unique questions posed to or by Christ totaled out to be 162. Total number of non-unique questions throughout the gospels is in the 550 range. Hopefully that makes more sense presented that way? For reference, the questions I believe that Christ didn’t answer were as follows: 1. Matthew 8:29 2. Matthew 15:2 3. Matthew 21:23 4. Matthew 26:62 5. Mark 15:3 6. Luke 7:48 7. Luke 12:41 Would love to hear if I messed up at all on others you think he did or did not answer. Probably need to rewrite this blog post from the ground up to make it more clear… and to also update the new info. Thanks for the question! Taylor Reply Larry Lenard December 5, 2011 Thank you so much. This is an amazing amount of research and quite a blessing. I was quite sure that 200+ questions was a bit much and probably, as you suggested, didn’t take into account the multiple tellings of many of the events. Thanks again. Reply Dave Snihur January 7, 2012 Thanks for the work you have done. I am a pastor in London Ontario and I wanted to do a sermon series entitled ” interactive faith – the questions of Jesus”. Even though I have been a pastor for over 30 years I have to admit that I never realize that Jesus asked so many questions. I am particularly surprised that the disciples asked so many and that women past six. thanks for the work you have done this it is been a great help to me. God bless you. Reply Taylor January 12, 2012 Dave! What an encouragement you are to me. A lot of times my curiosity gets me running down rabbit trails that never pay off at all. Not even to me! hahah. So to hear that you got value from this little exercise is good. No, its great! No its brilliant. So thanks for taking time out to let me know you found it interesting. God bless – would love to hear how your sermon series went. Taylor Reply Steve V March 29, 2012 That was very interesting, I love the idea of narrowing your focus of study to just see how people learned, when next to Jesus. Thank you for all that data-processing. I was wondering if you could possibly post a list, or make a downloadable document of all the questions and verses you compiled? Reply Taylor March 29, 2012 Hey Steve, Thanks. It is currently in a database, so I would need to figure out what fields and values should be exported – as well as the sort order for each. Yeah – I could. Just would take a bit of work to make it happen. How would you list and sort it? By answered? By unanswered? Chronologically? Just curious. Thanks again for the comment! Taylor Reply Steve V March 30, 2012 Hmmmm. Good question. Have to think about that… I was thinking it would be interesting as a design piece, or a video. To be able to see all the questions that mankind had the chance to ask of God while he was on earth, all on one page, or in 3-5 minutes. I think Chronological would make the most sense… because you could see the progression of Jesus’ message, as he starts to reveal what his purpose of coming to earth was. Reply Taylor April 1, 2012 Hey there, I went back to my DB and realize I munged the order of the events when I sorted the data incorrectly. But I can work on getting it updated correcty. Just need an hour or so to just align the entries with a list of the events in the gospels paralleled. But I also did an export and saw that it could work as long as I updated that info. As a side note, it’ll be tricky to show all 80 (or however many, I forget) in 5 minutes. Especially since sometimes the questions were a give and take… If you know what I mean. But I do like the idea. Once I kick the export out you will see what I mean. Taylor Reply Steve V April 2, 2012 Nice! Either way, I am really looking forward to seeing all of those in one document. Thanks for doing this. Reply Nathan Taylor February 3, 2013 Hello Taylor! So tonight i was just killing some time and I pull up YouTube on my iPhone and I see Taylor Holmes! Whoa! Interesting blog. Haven’t read all the comments here but I did read your “about Taylor” page and felt encouraged to at least say hey. So, well, hey! Nathan. Reply Taylor February 3, 2013 Haha, You pulled up YouTube and saw me? Hahah. I posted that like a couple days ago. Must be because you have me in your contacts. Fascinating. Thanks for saying hey! Hope you and yours are doing well! Taylor Reply R Klimes February 23, 2013 Where can I find the list of questions that people asked Jesus? Reply JHM February 24, 2013 Could you send or post the actual spreadsheet of all the questions? Reply Taylor Holmes February 24, 2013 JHM & R Klimes – I have made all of my research completely available to everyone now. The data covers pretty much every angle you can think of. Obviously it also includes both the questions asked of Jesus and the responses given. Due to space limitations here (width mainly) I am not including all the details anymore. But I have included most of the important roll up detail that you might be interested. But do consider getting my access database and excel sheet if you want to dig a little more as it is the best way. Reply Rev.Hameed Barkat October 6, 2013 Since my 49 years services I was not so much blessed and excited to know about this mysterios reality that how many times our Savior Jesus Christ was asked questions and how He satisfacterly answerd each question.I am so greatful to you for giving such a wonderful and unique Biblical studies. May God Bless You. Thanks so much. Reply Taylor October 6, 2013 Good sir, By far the coolest blog comment Ive ever received. Thanks a bunch for taking the time out to leave a comment. Really meant a lot. Until next time, Taylor Reply Dennis October 17, 2013 Aloha Taylor, Thank you for this information. I was working on a sermon for this Sunday and your info was a big help. Blessings to you. Reply Dave Hampson February 20, 2014 Taylor, Great job on the research. I have used your information in my Doctoral Thesis on using Blended Online Learning to Make Disciples in the 21st Century. I love the way you think! Dave Hampson Reply Taylor Holmes February 20, 2014 Hey there Dave, Coolness. I’ve always wanted to go and get a doctorate – but seeing as though life has definitely not allowed time for such greatness I will settle for being a part of yours. If you don’t mind sharing it when (or before) you complete it I would love to read it. Sounds like a great topic. Have you seen this particular blog and exchange in the comments? http://taylorholmes.com/2012/08/11/the-mysteries-of-the-universe/ Seems even more fitting for your topic. But regardless, I am happy…. check that, I am giddy at the opportunity to be an itty bitty piece of your hard work. Have a great day. Taylor Reply Bob March 1, 2014 Hello Taylor…great information you have given. It definitely an interesting subject of the questions that Jesus asked and was asked. I was doing some research as I began to think about the question that Jesus asked in Luke 18:8 where He asked, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” That started my quest on finding out about all the questions that Jesus asked, and then I came across your site in my Google search. But I am kind of dense on this, as I cannot figure out from what you have given us here the total number of questions that Jesus asked and was asked. If you could help me with this, I would certainly appreciate it. May the Lord guide you and keep you as you serve Him. Reply Taylor March 1, 2014 Hey there Bob, I answered that question in the comments – but here it is again. Thanks for swinging through! How Many Questions Did Jesus Ask? 109 – Number of unique questions asked by Jesus 61 – Number of unique questions Jesus answered 2 – Number of unique unanswered questions by Jesus That a little clearer? Thanks, Taylor Reply Bob March 3, 2014 Taylor…thanks for the update and letting me know about the number of questions that Jesus asked. I appreciate your taking the time to answer. As we study the Word, there is so much that we do not know, and that is why we must study the Word all of our lives. One day when we get to heaven, we will know much more, and a lot of things will be much clearer. Reply Did Jesus Say He Is God? April 13, 2014 […] healing and every miracle that Jesus performed, I marked them all in pink. I marked all the times questions were asked in yellow. And then one day I just got fed up with everyone telling me that Jesus never said that He was […] Reply Who is Jesus? Why was Jesus Crucified? | life and building April 18, 2014 […] the three and a half years of His ministry, Jesus was asked a total of 81 questions. These concerned all manner of topics big and […] Reply Memorizing James – Part Two: Questions and Answers | Ink and Paper Heart May 14, 2014 […] Are you comfortable bringing your questions to God? Do you readily ask the simple as well as the complex? Do you bring the questions that are secret? The ones that are too tangly to fit into a slick answer? The questions that make your brain ache and your heart sink? Jesus has a track record of responding to questions just like ours with truth. The crowds asked, the disciples asked, John, Judas and Martha asked, Mary asked, Nicodemus asked and a risk young ruler asked. The Samaritian woman and the demon-possessed man asked. …and Jesus answered them… Some heard answers they liked and some heard answers they didn’t but they were answered with the truth. The Pharisees, Pilate and the High Priests had questions too. But Jesus responded to them with silence. I’m learning there is a big difference between asking God questions and questioning God. After spending the past year studying the book of Matthew in Bible Study Fellowship, I am acutely aware of how easy it is to cross the line from asking with an open heart to questioning with an agenda. In the weeks after the second miscarriage there were many times I silently asked questions and desperately wanted truthful answers. I am confident God can be trusted with my heartfelt questions. He met me right in the middle of them and responded with the memory verses from James: “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.” James 1:5 and the weeks after that when I was laid low by life and felt like I’d never feel good again, He used the memory verses to remind me that changing seasons in my life are to be expected and that I would bloom again: “Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem.” James 1:9-11 He answered me through James. These answers gave me the weight to balance my heart against my brain. When my feelings said pain, the scriptures said joy. When my feelings said quit, the scriptures said persevere. When my feelings magnified hopelessness and helplessness, the scriptures affirmed the source of my hope and help. source This is the first time I’ve set out to memorize a large portion of scripture. It is daunting. I’ve been motivated to persevere as God uses verses to speak to me personally. My friend Jacque Watkins is a woman who has hidden a lot of the word in her heart. Recently, she wrote a helpful post full of tips about memorizing scripture. I encourage you to read it and challenge yourself. When we memorize scripture we dare to give God the opportunity to answer our deepest questions. Do you dare? if you would like to read more about the people who questioned Jesus and the responses He gave, please head over to this link. […] Reply Andrew May 28, 2014 Taylor…This research is still a real blessing several years after you first did it and I am sure it will be for many years to come. I was just considering doing something similar, but can now direct my efforts in a different direction. My question to you is do you get a sense having studied the questions in depth that Jesus was mainly giving cryptic answers encouraging the questioner to seek after God himself or herself rather than dishing it up on a plate to satisfy someone’s curiosity about spiritual matters? Sometimes I think the whole Bible is a bit like that. God expects us to dig for truth and find the real nuggets rather than blindly quoting passages or glib answers out of context. You have certainly spent a lot of time digging, sifting and finding some of the key points in the gospels. Is this your view? For instance Jesus didn’t spend any time as recorded in the Gospels talking about the Trinity, blood sacrifice, substitution, worship in the synagogue or in the Temple etc etc. He left us some room to take different opinions on some matters as long as we are seeking first His Kingdom. You don’t have to answer the question directly if you think your answer might be misinterpreted! Thanks again. Andrew Reply Taylor Holmes May 28, 2014 Hey there Andrew, Thanks for asking your questions – I love digging into this kind of stuff. So I am honored to give it a go. “My question to you is do you get a sense having studied the questions in depth that Jesus was mainly giving cryptic answers encouraging the questioner to seek after God himself or herself rather than dishing it up on a plate to satisfy someone’s curiosity about spiritual matters?” Having dug through the questions one by one and classifying each one I really get the feeling like it isn’t Jesus being cryptic or shady… but that the people that were interacting with Him just didn’t get it. (Kinda like me I guess!) So for example what if today Jesus was here with you and me, and we were upset about the shootings in Santa Barbara maybe? And so we say to Him “Master, tell us about the shootings in Santa Barbara please, what is up with that?” And His response goes like this, “Do you suppose that these Californians were greater sinners than all other Californians because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those 227 missing in that Malaysian plane who have been killed, they were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (I took that answer straight from Luke 13 and the tower of Siloam) He didn’t answer our questions about the plane. He didn’t answer our questions about the nutjob with the gun. He didn’t titillate at all. In Luke 13 He knew they were thinking that those victims were enormous sinners and that is why they died, so that is what he spoke to. BUT ULTIMATELY, he spoke to their own hearts. He said, YOU repent… don’t worry about them, you worry about your own sin, your own hearts. That is why I think His answers were so confusing. Like the woman at the well. She wanted to dodge his meddling in her life and talk about politics. He had none of that… He went for the jugular with her, and in so doing the whole town was saved. Right? But we would prefer to have our questions about whether we should worship here, or there, or in Jerusalem, or the Malaysian flight, or the shootings, or my car crash, or my dentist visit answered instead. If that makes any sense at all. “For instance Jesus didn’t spend any time as recorded in the Gospels talking about the Trinity, blood sacrifice, substitution, worship in the synagogue or in the Temple etc etc.” Totally, you are making my point for me. After doing this research I have thought about for the last couple months, writing a modern gospel. Place the events of 2000 years ago in a modern context with modern people and events. Just for fun, just to give context to the passages that confound so many. And this would be one of the larger points out of doing an exercise like that. “Jesus, that church over there uses a video link with 7 other campuses… is that Biblical? What about that group over there that hates the drums? Aren’t they wrong? Or oh oh oh, I know, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” Ok so I joke. Your questions are more legit. But even so, it was amazing how much we get hung up on the details of the laws. And His response was always back to loving God, loving others. But SACRIFICES?!? That’s a big deal, right? Sorta. In Matthew 9:13 he said, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” BLAM! Just so left field. Its probably why he prefaced it with, go figure this out… I want you to show mercy…. not sacrifice, or ritual, or restraint. I want an abundance of grace. So I don’t think he was being cryptic per se, I think that we just don’t ultimately understand what truly matters – and that is what causes the “crypticness”. Right? So, in one sense, yes… you need to go and figure out what it was he was really saying, because ultimately, that’s the answer. Not your question, but His response. And in following His line of thinking, not yours, you will come closer to the truth. One of the main reasons I know that Jesus is God is because He just didn’t follow any sort of human mold at all. Humans wanted to box Him in and He was just unboundable. Individuals wanted to turn Him into a slot-machine to get what they want out of Him (position, miracles, prophecy, whatever) and He just wouldn’t have it. We come with our political questions, or questions about gun rights, or about my house purchase, or my awful boss??? His response is gonna be along the lines of “Love me first… everything else will fall into place after that.” We ask deep profound questions about the creation of the universe? I’m betting He flips that conversation around on you and comes back with, Yeah, I was there then, but who cares about that, how are you doing wrt putting me first in all of your life? Let’s talk about that first! And right now I’m personally convicted because I’ve been asking Him all manner of selfish questions about me, me, me, me. My job. My house. My loan. My friends. My adoption. My stuff. And I haven’t been focusing on diving wholeheartedly into Him. That is where we find peace. Does that make sense Andrew? I’m sure it sounds like I side stepped your question, but I really wasn’t! hahah. Reply Andrew May 28, 2014 Thanks Taylor. I think you’re right. Jesus was fully aware of the micro-issues which were huge for the people of the day in their context, but he was also fully aware of the big, macro-issues which would still be relevant thousands of years later such as grace, love, seeking first the Kingdom, dying to self, faith and repentance. He was able to make the point that the Father seeks worshippers who will worship in spirit and truth and thereby avoid adding any fuel to the conflicts over all the trivialities which we all get so hung up over. The more I study the Gospels the more amazed I am that the pivotal issue of the Resurrection is never really explained in detail, like Creation in Genesis it is just reported and assumed without all the intricate details which we would like to know, but which would probably end up dividing us. Jesus must have decided to stick to the basics as far as deep theological explanations were concerned and let us get on with it! It’s a bit like that classic line in Romans – men are without excuse because the invisible qualities of God can be clearly seen. I guess it’s not really cryptic, but has a depth to it that needs unpacking by eyes, hearts and minds being open to the truth. The truth will set you free. Thanks again for your research. A gospel in the context of the 21st century would be interesting. It’s worth exploring. Andrew Reply Taylor Holmes May 28, 2014 Andrew, I would love to hear more about what you mean by the resurrection not being explained in detail. Are you meaning, like, where did Christ go after death, how exactly did he snag the keys to death, etc etc? I have been digging into the days of His death and resurrection in quite some detail in the last month. (Not trying to be divisive) but I don’t think he died on Friday, I think it was actually Wednesday afternoon / Wednesday evening (Wednesday – Thursday from a Jewish definition of day.) Mainly because of Christ saying that like Jonah, the son of man would be in the belly of the whale three days and three nights. Friday doesn’t leave enough time for three full days and nights. But does that matte?!? No, not at all. I just find it interesting that the Church has probably gotten it wrong all these years. But is it ok that we get this wrong?! Yes! Very much so. It just doesn’t matter. But like you said, its the bigger issues of faith. Grace. Love. That actually matter. Forgiveness of sins through the atonement blood shed on the cross. This is really what matters. Another data point for you. I love it when the disciples point out the temple (which was one of the greatest architectural achievements of their day) and say something like, isn’t this the greatest thing ever? I mean, LOOK AT IT… ITS AMAZING!! What does Jesus say? (Mark 13) I mean, being outside of time – what would you say if someone said this ephemeral thing was truly amazing? ‘He said “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”’ From the disciples standpoint in time this is the biggest killjoy on the planet. But from Christ’s vantage outside of time he was doing multiple things… he was pointing out what really mattered, he was pointing out that He really was God and was prescient. Right? Its a different agenda. And that is the thing I take away from reading the gospels over and over again. God has a different agenda than I do. I need His heart as opposed to my convincing Him to get on with my agenda. Andrew – thanks a ton for the chat. I love talking about this stuff. I could do it all day long. If you are ever in the colorado springs area I say we get a coffee, my treat. haha. Reply Andrew May 28, 2014 Likewise if you ever plan to come over to the south-west of England you’re welcome to come here. The thing about the Resurrection is you get four slightly different versions of the discovery of the empty tomb and then some very brief encounters with the risen Christ. All the details are left to our imagination as far as what happened from the moment the tomb was sealed until it was discovered empty. As you say there is even some doubt as to the days. I guess we don’t need to know the details and there were no human eyewitnesses, but a few more details would be interesting! Reply Taylor May 29, 2014 The south west of England?! How awesome is that. Give me an excuse and I’ll be on a plane! I met my wife at school in the Lake District. I swing through London occasionally as my employer, Compassion International, has offices near Heathrow. I was there a couple years ago and stuck for over a week because of that infernal volcano! Hahah. Beautiful blue skies and not a plane in sight. It was awesome. Where exactly in England. Hay on Wye is one of my favorite towns on the planet – that’s sorta south west! Hehe. Yes, you are right… The tomb becomes a magicians box from the moment it’s sealed to the moment Christ is seen alive again. Christ’s only clue that he gives is when the women try to cling to him he mentioned he hadn’t ascended to the Father yet. Or something like that. I really will have to post my thoughts on the three day business. But ultimately, yes, it doesn’t matter but it’d be interesting. I have been thinking a lot about why Christ himself didn’t declare sacrifices specifically ended in his death and resurrection. I mean, it is obvious, since that was the point. But now that I think about it I wonder why he didn’t spell it out for us. Thanks for getting me thinking! And I’ll be over to your house tomorrow then!?! Fish and chips in newspaper… Mayo and oil and buckets of salt?!? Hahah. Brilliant. Take care Andrew. Reply Jason September 18, 2014 This is really interesting stuff. I too, am doing a sermon series on questions Jesus asked…and ran across your blog. I am a little confused after reading through your comments. You state that there are… 109 – Number of unique questions asked by Jesus 61 – Number of unique questions Jesus answered 2 – Number of unique unanswered questions by Jesus Yet you also say… the questions I believe that Christ didn’t answer were as follows: 1. Matthew 8:29 2. Matthew 15:2 3. Matthew 21:23 4. Matthew 26:62 5. Mark 15:3 6. Luke 7:48 7. Luke 12:41 So what is the number of questions Jesus didn’t answer? Why the discrepancy? Thanks for taking the time to do this work! Reply Taylor Holmes September 18, 2014 Hey there Jason, First, whether Jesus answered a question or not is a matter of interpretation sometimes. I stated in the blog that I took a fairly liberal view with this question. The reason is because I believe that sometimes my questions were off the mark. Like for example the woman at the well wanting to discuss geopolitical-trivialities that just don’t matter. Another reason maybe because He didn’t answer it one spot but he did in another? Just a guess on my part at this point. But let’s just go one by one with the list you provided: 1. Matthew 8:29 – Demons ask Jesus what He wants with them? Jesus’ answer? He wants them to go. But I can see why you may think that isn’t a response. 2. Matthew 15:2 – Jesus is asked why his disciples don’t wash their hands. He answers them later on in verse 10, by saying, it isn’t what goes into a man’s mouth that makes a man unclean… etc. 3. Matthew 21:23 – This is a good one. Pharisees ask him by what authority Jesus did these things. And He in turn said He would answer if they in turn answered a question. They didn’t answer so He didn’t. I remember going back and forth on this one. He was perfectly willing to answer it… and even did, of a sorts, maybe I revert it to a non answer. Still thinking about it. 4. Matthew 26:62 – Yes, this was from the High Priest. This was one I had as a non-answer. 5. Mark 15:3 – This was from Pilate, this was the second non-answer I had. 6. Luke 7:48 – I think you mean 7:49? “Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man who even forgives sins?'”, yes? The verse specifically states that they were saying this to themselves… so I posted it as a rhetorical question. I saw it more as a HOLY COW. As opposed to a specific question. But since Jesus knows the thoughts in mens heads he could have answered their “HOLY COW” with a legitimate answer. 7. Luke 12:41 – This one makes me laugh. Peter jumps into the middle of Jesus’ sermon, and asks “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?”. He wants a pass! And technically yes Jesus doesn’t specifically stop and say, yes, you too Peter, now let me finish teaching. But he does reiterate what he was already saying. And at the end of that specific thought that follows he says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” So, yeah, I say it was answered. Though it wasn’t answered specifically like Peter wanted it to be answered, with a NO. hahah. But to be completely honest, I got Peter’s question tangled in with Jesus’ questions, and I didn’t count it. So thanks for helping me clean up the data!! I love finding more questions from the disciples specifically. I am not trying to say you are wrong on any of these. I’m just giving you my reasoning or rationale on the questions. So, I may just add Matt 21:23 as a non-answer – I am still thinking about it. And I definitely have to add Peter’s question to the database. Pretty exciting really. Love to hear your thoughts Jason. Taylor Reply Jason September 18, 2014 Thanks for your timely response. But I think you may be a little confused. I didn’t come up with that list…you did. I simply copied and pasted it from your answers to other questions in the comments. I was just trying to understand why you said Jesus only had 2 non answers in one response…and listed 7 non answers in another response. Reply Taylor Holmes September 19, 2014 Hahaha. This post is out of date. I created it a couple years ago and then have gone back through and redid the exercise, which I just redid again for you! hahah. But as you can see, its hard to define whether a question is literally answered, unanswered, rhetorical, etc. Thanks for asking. And here I was thinking you had done this too and I was all excited! Sorry for the confusion. Reply Robert October 10, 2014 This is an awesome! I am a pastor and I am about to preach a sermon on 2 Timothy 2:23 entitled “Unlike Bigfoot, Bad Questions do Exist. One of the things that crossed my mind during my studying was how many questions did Jesus answer? I want to purchase this resource, but I noticed that several times you mentioned needing to update the blog post, so I was curious if the PDF file has been updated to reflected some of the differences between what you wrote on the blog, and what you have said in your answers. I should get an email if you reply on these comments, but feel free to shoot me a separate email if you can. BTW I am planning on preaching this sermon this Sunday October 12, 2014, so if possible get back to me soon. I will post a brief devotion, by the same title as my sermon, on my blog on Monday morning. Thanks and God bless. Even if you don’t get back to me in time I still want the information. It sounds like a great tool for a Sermon series. Reply Robert October 10, 2014 I apologize for not proofreading the above post. Feel free to delete it after you respond! Thanks! Reply Taylor Holmes October 10, 2014 Hahaha, Yes, my data is up to date with my second read through of the data. Ok, so do this. If you purchase the data, and you want a different slice or view, I’m happy to work with you to get you what you need. But yes, the blog is out of date. The data is not. There isn’t a PDF, there is a pivot table in Excel that you can tweak and try out. So if you just want to know the Questions asked of Jesus by everyone, you deselect Jesus as the asker – then select only Jesus as the answerer. If that makes sense. The data can be asked lots of questions, how many the disciples asked, how many they answered. How many questions asked of Jesus by Pharisees, Saducees, or whatever. But if you want a flat PDF, I can build one for you. Whatever you want. I care more about getting you what you need, than about making a sale. Thanks for asking. Reply Taylor Holmes October 10, 2014 After reading 2 Timothy, I think its an interesting sermon. I’d love to hear it if you record video or audio and post it online. My own take from this data is that Jesus listened to all of the questions asked him. But sometimes we asked the wrong questions. Think of the woman at the well – she was more concerned about not being outted as a sinner and talking politics, than about talking about relationship with God. Which is all the Jesus was interested in. Right? But he humored humans so many times with their really really stupid questions. My take anyway. Reply Robert October 10, 2014 Thanks for the insights! I am looking forward to this sermon. There have been so many time that I did exactly what Paul was warning Timothy against, and participated in answering questions that were only ever asked to generate strife. One of my points will deal with the necessity of recognizing the heart of the question, and responding accordingly. I totally agree with the premise of the statement “There are no dumb questions.”, but I recognize through studying scriptures that there are plenty of “bad “questions that that should be avoided. This does not mean that we do not engage, but that we, for example, address the issue at the heart of the asker. I paid for the PDF, but I was not given any instructions on receiving it? Reply Robert October 10, 2014 I don’t know why I keep calling it a PDF when it is in Excel format. Just a habit. Reply Taylor Holmes October 10, 2014 Hey there Robert, I sent a link to the downloads file via email – you need to do it from a computer if you did it from an ipad or phone or something like that it won’t work. The file should download automatically. Reply Robert October 10, 2014 I got it. Great resource! Thanks! Reply Taylor Holmes October 10, 2014 Glad you got it. Thanks Robert! And don’t forget to send me the link to your sermon if you have one! I’d love to listen. Reply Filip July 7, 2015 Dear Taylor I’m interested in your data file. Thanks ever so much for your research. Reply Ariel March 7, 2016 Hi Taylor, I just purchased the file, but how do I receive it? Can you please send an email to me? Thanks! Reply Ariel March 7, 2016 P.S. my email listed in this reply (and not the one listed in the original question) is the one with which I purchased the file. Thanks! Reply Taylor March 7, 2016 Hey there Ariel, thanks for purchasing. I will email you directly. Occasionally the purchase and the download get gummed up. Sorry about that!! But we’ll get you taken care of right away regardless. Taylor Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.