“If You Could Read My Mind Luv - What a tale my thoughts would tell.”
That’s the line from a really old song.
If you know this blog, you’ll know who I’m going to talk about. If you know your Bible you’ll know the account I’m going to turn to. I’ve actually used this account when pointing to the five main reasons that the disciples claimed that Jesus was God.
Jesus was sitting in a house in Capernaum. It was probably the house that He used for His home base. The house was packed and some guys lowered their friend, quite possibly a quadriplegic, down through the roof because they believed that Jesus could heal him. When Jesus saw the man He said, “Son, your sins are forgiven. Go in peace.”
Now, according to Matthew’s account, the Pharisees reacted “at once.” So clearly was Jesus equating Himself with God that their reaction was instantaneous. This man is blaspheming. The curious part is that they said this to themselves and not as a direct verbal accusation toward Jesus. This was early enough in Jesus’ ministry, and Jesus was new enough to the town (He’d just been run out of Nazareth) that they weren’t openly challenging Him like they would later on.
At any rate, there were several Scribes and Pharisees there and each of them reacted the same way - “in their own minds.” Matthew is clear on this. As soon as Jesus said that to the man, “Within themselves” they said, “this man is blaspheming.” Mark says the same, “The Scribes reasoned in their hearts, “why does this man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Luke describes it as “they began to reason in their hearts, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”” (5:21).
The question of course was rhetorical in nature. They knew the answer absolutely. No one but God can forgive sin. Even you and I know that the answer is clear. If Jesus isn’t God then He is most certainly a blasphemer by putting Himself in the place of God, saying that He could do what only God can do.
The point is, Jesus could read their minds and what a tale their thoughts told. He said to them, “why do you entertain evil thoughts about Me in your hearts?” Right there they should have had a clue that something out of the ordinary was taking place.
So Jesus said, “Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven?” or “Get up and walk?” So that you may know that I am God, Jesus said to the man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” and the man got up and went home.
Notice Jesus didn’t ask which is easier to “do” but which is easier to “say.” A fraud, a modern day faith healer would have simply left it at forgiving this man’s sins. This man was ovbiously no stage prop. He hadn't been screened before being allowed "on stage." This guy was the real deal. Known in the community as crippled beyond hope. Who would know the difference; whether he’d been forgiven or not? Jesus put His words into action. That’s why Jesus said to the doubters of His day, “You don’t need to believe that I am God because I say so, but you should believe what I say because of what I do.”
Whether you were there that day or are just reading about it now, you have two choices. (Atheists will say that a third choice will arrive at some point in the future). Jesus was a blasphemer and a fraud and therefore not God and certainly not a good man nor a moral teacher, or He is God incarnate.
What kind of tale are your thoughts telling Jesus right now?