Luke 5:22 – Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?” (similar to Question #9 – Matt. 9:4)
Jesus asked this question to a group of Pharisees and teachers of the law, who got upset when He told a paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven before He healed him. Question #9 deals with that situation. Matthew used the phrase “evil thoughts.” Luke words the question slightly differently.
We can think all sorts of things in our hearts… some things that we never verbalize to anyone for a variety of reasons. They may be fearful things, lustful things, prideful things, angry/bitter things, shameful things, etc. You get the picture. These things that we are hiding in our hearts may be crippling our spiritual or emotional life … our relationships with God and with other people. Other people may not know what we’re hiding but Jesus does. He can see into our heart. He wants to help transform those thoughts with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Here are a few verses from the New Testament that encourage this type of transformation:
Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. NIV
1 Peter 1:13-16 – Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” NIV
Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. NIV
Some questions to consider: What am I hiding in my heart that I need to allow Jesus and the Holy Spirit the opportunity to transform? How can I do that? What thoughts can replace these hidden thoughts? Have I asked Jesus to help me with this process?