|Vol. 15 No. 4 April 2013||
My husband and I were in the grocery store; I went to the pharmacy, and he went to pick up something else. A few minutes later, he came and asked me if I had gotten a certain item; I said no I had not. In his mind he really believed that he had told me to get that item. He then said he had told me to get it, to which I again replied, no he had not.
Two of the women working in the pharmacy heard this conversation, and I said to them, “The One who read minds has been gone a long time.” It took them a second to grasp what I had just said, but when they did, they looked at each other and burst out laughing! How often are we so positive of “certainties” that have taken place only in our minds?
Jesus was the only One who was able to read minds. For the purpose of this article, just a few of those will be referenced. Matthew 9:1-7, Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26 record the account of a paralytic who was brought to Jesus to be healed. All three writers recorded the sequence of events in a similar way. One of the most undeviating points in all three writings is Jesus knowing the thoughts of the people who witnessed the healing. Their thoughts were evil—and He knew it!
Matthew 9:1-2 tells us when Jesus saw the faith of those who brought the paralytic, He forgave his sins. Verse 3 states, “And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, ‘This Man blasphemes!’” Verse 4 states, “But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?’”
The parallel account in Mark 2:1-12 gives us more details; it states that four men brought the paralytic to Jesus. It further states they could not come near Him because of the crowd, so they uncovered the roof and broke through, and they let down the bed that the paralytic was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, He forgave the paralytic’s sins. Verses 6-7 state, “And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” Verse 8 states, “But immediately when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, ‘Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?’”
Can we even imagine what went through their minds when Jesus exposed their inner thoughts as being evil? Their accusatory and judgmental attitude did not deter the Lord in any way from doing what was most desired by the paralytic and the four men who brought him. The good that came despite the people’s evil thoughts was Jesus healing the paralytic. All who saw it were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2:12). In Luke’s account after the healing, the people exclaimed, “We have seen strange things today!” (Luke 5:26). Jesus knew the hearts of all men, and everything He did on this earth was to give exalted honor, distinction, renown, and thanksgiving to His Father.
Matthew 22:15-22 is the account of the Pharisees that revealed one of their many ulterior motives in their interactions with Jesus. Verse 15 states, “Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk.” Their attempt at this entanglement was dreary at best. In verses 16-17, they spoke of Jesus being true, teaching the way of God in truth, not caring about anyone’s opinion and not swayed by appearances. Then, they asked Jesus did He think it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Verse 18 states, “But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, ‘Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?’” They were as transparent to the Lord as plastic wrap!
John 6:1-15 is the narrative of Jesus feeding the five thousand men. When Jesus performed this miracle, the men proclaimed, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world” (vs. 14). Verse 15 reads, “Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to a mountain by Himself alone.”
A sister in the faith told this writer years ago that the mind is the last frontier. Her point being, if we ever brought our thoughts under control, our lives would be so much better in all other aspects. What can we do? We must strive to do as Paul commanded the church at Corinth. “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
We have probably have heard it said and may have said it ourselves, “If looks could kill, that person would have been dead.” Yes, it is a good thing that God in His unlimited wisdom did not give mind-reading ability to His highest, earthly creation. Aren’t we glad about that? If He had, the earth would be filled with mayhem and murder continually.
Jesus said, speaking to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:34, “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” It can be no other way. That is why we are commanded to keep our hearts with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).
Sometime in a future conversation, during the exchange the person may say, “I know what you are thinking.” Are there times when we are so thankful to God that they really don’t know what we are thinking? Or could we say forthrightly, “No, you really don’t know what I’m thinking, but I’ll be glad to tell you.”