Private thoughts? No such thing with Jesus!

The Healing of a Paralytic.

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home.  Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.  They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.   Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”  Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way?  He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?”  Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”—  he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”  He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
Mark 2: 1-11


This is such a moving story.  Jesus, you are inundated by people.  Pressing.  Demanding.  Asking.  Hoping.  Pleading – if not for themselves, then for those who they care about.  So crowded.  You are center stage.  This is a mixed crowd from neighbors to Pharisees.  The masses and the intelligentsia.  I am struck that Luke says that they have come to hear your teaching.  Teaching and healing.  Again in juxtaposition.   Feed my soul.  Feed my mind.  Heal my soul. Heal my mind.

Heal my mind.  Heal my mind.  That is an interesting idea. Jesus, you knew what people were thinking.  You knew what the Pharisees were thinking.  Luke said you “immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves.”  I don’t know if I have ever asked you to heal my thoughts.  Oh, and to forgive my thoughts.

All sin begins in the mind.

Jesus,  this is something important.  You know my thoughts.  My thoughts are visible to You.  Sometimes I think or act as if my thoughts were private.   They may not be known by my fellow humans, but they are known to you.  The words of the Psalm 139 come back to me:


 I don’t think that passing thoughts, although they may be unworthy of the person I would, should, could be, are inherently sinful.  I don’t believe it is the passing thought that is the issue, but it is the harbored thought.  Not sure where “harbored” came from, but it is the right word to describe nurtured, considered, embellished thoughts.  These are not passing or fleeting thoughts, they are harbored.  We turn the idea over in our mind.  We create a story.  We add emotion.  We don’t do as my dad always counseled  “just let it go.”  That is where the source of sin lies.

You see these unworthy thoughts, you see me.  Please Lord let me be sensitive to this harboring of ill-thoughts.  Oh, ill-thoughts in need of your healing.  Please my Lord, heal this ill-thoughts, the thoughts I harbor and hold on to which are counter to being Yours.