Five times this question with this wording is raised in the New Testament, according to the New American Standard version. Four times in Matthew and one time in Mark. All five times, it is Jesus who is asking the question.
Jesus raises basically the same question at other times but with different words. He will ask, “What does the scripture say?”, or, “How do you understand the scripture?”
The question is a lesson in itself.
This is the question Jesus asked men. Therefore it is the question God asked men. Would He still ask it? Will He ask it again when we stand before Him to be judged by Him? (Regarding that last question, have you not read, “The words that I have spoken the same will judge them in the last day”?
The question implies the necessity of reading.
The question implies the necessity of believing what has been read.
The question implies the necessity of allowing what has been read to change my thinking and actions.
The question is asked of those who were long time readers but were not allowing what they read to direct their thoughts and actions. They were selective in their reading and cultural in their understanding. We must not make the same mistake.
Have you not read? Well, have I? Am I? What difference is it making with me?