Today we are going to read a story in Luke 5:17-26 (NIV). On the surface, it is a story about Jesus forgiving and healing a man who could not walk. This is an amazing story of Jesus and his heart for people, and one that we should never forget.
But instead, today, we are going to look at how Jesus read the hearts and minds of the Pharisee-onlookers, and said, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?”
Here’s the story from beginning to end:
“One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
“The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”
“So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
What are the key things going on?
- The Pharisees actively listened to Jesus
- Jesus was filled with The Power of the Lord
- Jesus cares about the sick
- When we have a real need, good friends will help us get in front of Jesus
- Jesus rewarded the faith of the man and the faith of the friends by forgiving the man who could not walk
- When we have submitted to Jesus we will do what He says
- When a heart is in a place that isn’t aligned with Jesus, it will be blind to Jesus
- Jesus knows what we are thinking
- Jesus not only healed the man of inner sin, He healed the man of paralysis
- We need to praise God because we are forgiven
- We need to praise God because of how he heals and protects us
Did you notice what Jesus said? “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?”
He did not say “what” are you thinking in your hearts, He said “why”.
Have you asked yourself that question before? “Why am I thinking these things in my heart?”
So what are you thinking in your heart right now? Here are some common things that we may think, even without knowing it:
- I’m a looser
- I’ve done too many bad things
- I’m not worthy
- I’m stupid
- I”m ugly
- “They” are out to get me
- Why do “they” get noticed
- Why do “they” think they are always right
Whatever it is, if you are thinking something that puts someone else or yourself down and views them in a negative light, have you asked yourself “why”?
Today Jesus is asking us to examine our hearts by saying why are you thinking these things in your heart?
May we be like the man who couldn’t walk. Let us have faith. Let us accept the forgiveness. Let us get up and walk into our homes with praise for Jesus. Let us live loved and forgiven all the rest of our days.