“Right away Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were thinking like this within themselves and said to them, ‘Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Have you ever had someone read your mind? There are some mentalists (the branch of magic that deals with mind-reading and such) who specialize in being able to guess and even predict what someone is thinking. The best of these can put on pretty amazing shows. But at the end of the day, talented mentalists are just folks who have a knack for understanding people, have studied a fair bit of human psychology, and are good at predicting patterns based on quick, careful observations. No one really has access to what’s going on inside your head except you. Oh, and Jesus.
Now, to a certain extent, what Jesus does here is simply to predict an outcome based on His understanding of the people around Him. He was a smarty guy and He understood His culture well. He knew that what He had done was going to raise the ire of the Pharisees, and He knew how they were likely to balk at His actions. But what Jesus demonstrates here is that He had a knack for knowing what people were thinking.
Actually, this goes beyond just a knack. Jesus had the divine ability to perceive the thoughts of the people around Him. He revealed this multiple times in the Gospels and always in the context of calling the Pharisees out for their duplicitous thinking in response to something He had done or said. Because He was God, Jesus had access to the inner workings of the human heart and mind in ways you and I simply don’t. We don’t always know what’s going on in our own hearts and minds, let alone those of someone else. Jesus knew both perfectly.
In light of this, I want to leave you with a simple, but challenging thought this morning before sending you on your way. Here it is: If Jesus knew what they were thinking then, He knows what we are thinking now. I’ll wait while that idea sinks in a little bit.
Jesus knows what’s going on inside of you. You know those places where you hide stuff inside and thinking no one is going to be the wiser? He can see in there. He can see all of it. Every stray, wandering thought is as clear to Him as the words on this screen are to you. Nothing is hidden.
This means a couple of different things. On the one hand, there is someone from whom you cannot hide. Ever. No matter how hard you may try, He knows. Those thoughts and deeds you figured were covered up pretty well weren’t actually covered up nearly so much as you thought. Everything is laid bare before Him. You might as well just come clean about it. Better than that, you might as well not even bother doing it in the first place. You aren’t going to get away with it.
On the other hand, you know how you have some places inside of you that you wish someone knew about so you could be understood more than you feel like you are? Jesus knows about them too. Jesus understands them. He understands you. In all of those times when you just wish there was someone who had some idea of what you were thinking and going through, someone who could help you process through it in a way that made some semblance of sense, there is. His name is Jesus.
What you can do with this is just as simple as the idea itself: live your life in light of this intimate knowing. You are known. Fully and completely. Your shining parts and your ugly parts alike are known perfectly. And you are loved anyway. No matter what. What a Savior He is! Give Him your life. You’ll be glad you did.