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Mark 9:33

ESV And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?”
NIV They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, 'What were you arguing about on the road?'
NASB They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them: 'What were you discussing on the way?'
CSB They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way? "
NLT After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, 'What were you discussing out on the road?'
KJV And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?

What does Mark 9:33 mean?

Jesus, and God the Father, often asks questions merely to engage people and direct their attention to the issue He wishes to address. We see this when God asks Adam and Eve where they are (Genesis 3:9), and when Jesus asks Peter if he is asleep (Mark 14:37). The questions don't reflect a lack of knowledge but provide an opportunity for others to take responsibility for their actions.
One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that God either doesn't know or doesn't care about what we do and say. We may think that we're too unimportant or that He isn't interested in us. It's true that we shouldn't obsess or feel shame over what we have done, but we should never think that God doesn't care. He is more than willing to work with us on issues of sin or hurt. He wants us to feel free to approach Him with our concerns, "that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). The sooner we deal with our sin or pain, the less time it has to grow into something truly damaging.

When God asks questions in the Bible, we can be certain that He knows the answer beforehand. With Jesus, we're not so sure. Some scholars say that because Jesus had a direct relationship with the Holy Spirit, He was actively omniscient in His human form, but Scripture belies this. When speaking of the timing of His second coming, He told the disciples "But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Mark 13:32). Paul explains that in order to fulfill His purpose, Jesus "emptied himself" of His equality with God (Philippians 2:7). He must have had some extra spiritual knowledge (Mark 2:8; 5:30), but He was apparently not taking full hold of His divine omniscience during His ministry on earth.
What is the Gospel?
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