O you who open your Bibles and want to understand a text, the way to get into the meaning of a text is through the door, Christ. ~C.H. Spurgeon
What's the most important question a person can ask when studying the Bible?
I don't think it's the history or the context. I don't think it's in knowing the meaning behind various names of characters. Author and year it was written? Nope. I don't even think it's figuring out how the verses apply to you and I in our everyday lives. These are great and necessary questions to ask in studying... but, THE most important question... THE ultimate question is simply this: How does this point to Jesus?
How does Eden and the fall point to Jesus?
How does Moses leading the Israelites in their great exodus show us Jesus?
How do all the Levitical laws and regulations point to Jesus?
How does the story of a small shepherd boy, turned king direct us towards Jesus?
How does the love story of Ruth and Boaz or the two lovers in Song of Solomon reveal Jesus to us?
How does the tale of a man marrying a prostitute showcase Jesus?
Jesus and the cross are the centerpiece of all scripture. All of the old testament leads up to it, and all of the new testament flows out of it.
In Jesus we can see His beauty in the simplest of details in scripture. Gomer is a good example of this. Gomer means complete. The root word (Gamar) means to perfect. While Gomer's unfaithfulness is proof that she is anything but perfect, in Hosea 2:19 we hear, "I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy." Righteousness, justice, steadfast love, and mercy were the bride price for Gomer, for Israel, and for you and I... found in Jesus. In Christ's death and sacrifice we're made complete... we're being perfected... the bride price is paid in full. See how we cannot exhaust this pivotal question? Even in something as small as a name, contains hints and fingertips of Christ and the gospel.
Getting to Christ, getting to the cross, forces us to take our eyes off of us, and the navel-gazing we can sometimes do in our reading and studying. There needs to be far less introspecting in our reading, because ultimately it's a book about Christ.
In any reading of scripture we need to make it to the cross. The whole Bible is about Jesus, not just the new testament, or the Gospels. It all rightly leads to Him. Therefore it's the best question to ask. If you miss Him, you're missing the most important part.