Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reasoning's dangers

"(They) let him down with his bed 
through the tiling into the midst before Jesus"
 - Luke 5:19.

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Luke 5:17-39

TO CHEW ON: "But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, 'Why are you reasoning in your hearts?'" Luke 5:22 NKJV

"But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, 'Why are you reasoning in your hearts?'" - Luke 5:22 NASB

Our culture puts a lot of stock in the ability to reason.

[Reason (verb): 1] To think out carefully and logically, to analyze. 2] To influence by means of reason, persuade, dissuade, argue, debate.]

The thought processes of the Pharisees and teachers illustrate one of reasoning's dangers: how a true conclusion depends on a right premise.

Their premise was that Jesus was an ordinary man. Their argument went something like this:
  • Jesus is an ordinary man.
  • He speaks forgiveness to the paralyzed man for his sins.
  • But no one can forgive sins but God alone.
  • Therefore Jesus is a blasphemer.

Had they started with a different premise, they could have come to a different conclusion. Suppose they had started with an open mind about Jesus and the premise "no one can forgive sins but God":
  • No one can forgive sins but God.
  • Jesus speaks forgiveness to the the man for his sin. 
  • He reinforces His right to forgive the man's sins with a supernatural, instantaneous healing so the paralyzed man moves and walks right before their eyes (Luke 5:24).
  • Therefore Jesus must be who He claims to be.
Reasoning still has the power to trip us up and put us on an anti-faith path. Joyce Meyer, in her book Battlefield of the Mind says:

"Satan frequently steals the will of God from us due to reasoning. The Lord may direct us to do a certain thing, but if it does not make sense—if it is not logical—we may be tempted to disregard it. What God leads a person to do does not always make logical sense to his mind. His spirit may affirm it and his mind reject it, especially if it would be out of the ordinary or unpleasant or if it would require personal sacrifice or discomfort" - Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind, p. 86.

Do you and I ever try to reason our way out of the things God has told us to do because they make no sense? At such times, let's let Jesus' question to the Pharisees probe us: "Why are you reasoning in your heart?"

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the ability to think and reason. But help me to overrule my reasoning ability with faith when I do not understand Your directions, assignments, and ways. Amen.

MORE: Feast of St. Matthew
Today the church celebrates Matthew, whose calling is recounted by Luke in Luke 5:27-32 of our reading. The liturgy for the day begins with this collect:

"We thank you, heavenly Father, for the witness of your apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of your Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen."


New King James Version (NKJV) Used with permission. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible®,Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (

Bible Drive-Thru

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...