3) Jesus knows us
There is one other huge difference about the questions of Jesus that makes his questions unlike anyone else’s in human history. While others ask questions to teach the right answers (top-down) or lead us in conversation (side-by-side) without necessarily knowing us well, Jesus asks because he always knows us so well. He has knowledge about us unlike anyone else. When he questions people, he already knows what it going on inside them!
Scripture claims that God alone knows what is in a person’s heart (1 Kings 8:39). When Samuel was so sure who to appoint as king he was rebuked: “for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). One of the truths about Jesus that is often missed is that he looks on the heart. It is stunning to realize how all the gospels agree that Jesus possessed deep spiritual discernment about the people he met. Jesus “himself knew what was in everyone (John 2:25); “Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves” (Mark 2:8); Jesus knew their thoughts (Matt 12:25, 22:18; Luke 6:8; 11:17). Jesus is in a unique category because his questions arise out of deep knowledge of those who are questioned. Jesus asks questions not in order for him to find out about us, but for us to discover with him what we don’t yet know about ourselves.
No one knows us like God’s son, so when he asks us about ourselves it is for our own sake that we might grow into his purposes. He knows who and where we are on the journey with him. By his questions he expresses love and understanding just as they are needed. Jesus specializes in personal questions because he knows and loves persons through and through.