39. Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?
Mark 2:8 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?
during first year of ministry, at his “home base” in Capernaum… perhaps Peter’s home — house full of people, plus crowded around within earshot outside listening to Jesus teach
crowd included Pharisees and scribes/teachers of the law – some had traveled several days’ journey: 85 miles Jerusalem to Capernaum
4 men brought disabled friend wanting him to be healed; had to let him down through the roof; instead of healing miracle (first) Jesus declared his sins forgiven
Person(s) being questioned:
religious leaders, scribes and Pharisees – seem to have come with preconceived ideas / bias / prejudice – quickly reached their conclusion
Jesus, reading thoughts (perhaps and body language/expression) “knew” what they were saying to themselves… and challenged them
Question behind the question:
know what they were thinking… in part: “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” – but toward whom were their hearts evil?
at least 2 possibilities – Jesus, the disabled man – perhaps both, since evil (πονηρα, ponera) is plural
why do you think this man deserves his disability – see John 9:2 “Rabbi, who sinned…?” – and, where is your compassion?
shouldn’t you be asking different questions rather than leading/loaded ones like these? – assumed they knew certain things about Jesus, reached (wrong) conclusions based on assumptions
perhaps wanting to draw them out, expose their thinking in front of witnesses – go ahead, say it out loud, let them know what you really think… about me… about him
refusal to engage could rightly be viewed as sign of uncertainty, fear of being wrong – if religious leaders were really convinced / solid in their position, why not defend it
actual response: angry embarrassed silence – wondering how this guy knew what they were thinking, how brave enough to challenge
both the way and the what of their thinking was wrong – thought they had all right answers, could make accurate observations, reason to right conclusions… beginning with human wisdom
assumptions about the disabled man may or may not have been correct; conclusions about Jesus definitely not correct, failed to account for readily available evidence
they, along with rest of crowd, probably had mixed up understanding of priorities – needed to learn spiritual need is greater than physical
but… the two often go hand in hand – need to relate to people holistically, addressing needs of the whole person in proper order
that order not always the same – physical can come first: e.g., Exod. 6:9 – need to bring physical relief/hope before can respond to spiritual truth
Matt. 10:16 – wise as serpents, harmless as doves
conclusions need sound foundation – observe, ask questions, watch and listen and empathize
don’t lose sight of all the needs, don’t neglect one or more in favor of another – remember, don’t have to start with the Gospel to end up there
is not an all or nothing situation – Jesus in same setting with same individual addressed both spiritual and physical needs