I think at one time or another, we all would like to be able to read someone’s mind.

That was especially true for me when Larry and I married. Not only did I want to read his mind, I actually thought I could. After all, if I had said something the same as what Larry said, I assumed he meant the same I would have. It made perfect sense.

Only in time did I realize no one can read my mind, especially Larry! And I cannot assume I can correctly interpret the thoughts or actions of others, especially Larry.

What a revelation and help for our marriage.

If only I’d read the story in Mark 2 and seen how only Jesus as God is omniscient. I most likely had studied it but didn’t apply it to my relationships. I should have concentrated on how only God knows the hearts and minds of others. Not me!

It’s interesting that over the years movies have been made about how one character can read the thoughts of another person. The plot develops as the person selfishly uses the ability for his own good, not for the good of others. Thankfully, we’ll see that Jesus uses His ability for the good of others and for His own glory.

Jesus ask the question in Mark 2:8: “Why do you question these things in your hearts?”

His words are a part of the heart-touching story of the paralytic’s friends breaking through the roof to get him within healing distance of Jesus. They must think their friend needs to be close in order for Jesus to heal him, otherwise they could have called out through the blocked door or pounded on the roof. Instead, they take off the layers of wood, mud, and straw, whether with their bare hands or some implements. The roof is strong enough to walk on but not strong enough to resist the passionate, motivated love these men have for their disabled friend.

The bedridden man is finally before Jesus, and to everyone the need is obvious. A healing of his body. But Jesus says, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” The friends intend only their friend’s physical healing, but Jesus wants the healing of his soul.

Jesus always sees beyond what we think is important. We can be healed physically in some way but if we are still being distressed by sin, we really aren’t healthy. TWEET THAT!!!!!

The scribes question Jesus’s action “in their hearts” (v. 6) because Jesus is blaspheming by claiming to be God who is the only one who can forgive sins. Blaspheming is a crime punishable by death. Jesus reveals their thoughts, and they must be totally shocked—just like the characters in a movie when another person refers to their thoughts. The scribes must also feel threatened because their evidence-gathering mission is no longer secret. Jesus knows their intentions for his harm.

Then curiously Jesus asks, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?” (2:9). He is revealing his authority on earth. No one can see whether the paralytic’s sins have been healed, but when he stands up, everyone can see the physical healing.

Jesus reveals three truths about himself: he heals the soul from sin, he heals the body from disease, and he points out lies corrupting the mind.

This story emphasizes Jesus’s omniscience. Jesus is not surprised. He never has a “deer looking in headlights” stare. He never wonders what someone is thinking or guesses at their motives. TWEET THAT!!!!!

What wonderful assurance for our lives. Jesus the Son of God knows everything—including our deepest needs. He knows which need requires addressing first, second, and last. When we are receptive to his better plan, we can reduce the “questioning in our hearts.” We aren’t forced to hide our confusion. God knows every motive, thought, and hope of our hearts. He wants to work with us to bring understanding. He asks us to evaluate, “Why do I question God’s ways in my heart?”

  • Has anything happened to you seeming to indicate God is not omniscient?
  • What seems scary or risky about honestly revealing the motives of your heart?

Healer Jesus, I praise you for your omniscient quality, which assures me nothing is hidden from you. Thank you for your authority to overcome every obstacle and to reveal your plan for my good.

This post is adapted from my book (co-authored with my husband, Larry): God’s Intriguing Questions: 60 New Testament Devotions Revealing Jesus’s Nature.