April 18, 2024

“It’s All About Jesus!”
Mark 2:1-12 (The Healing of the Paralytic)
Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts?” – Mark 2:8 (NLT)
“Honest Conversations”
I love how Jesus calls out the religious leaders. Not so much because they didn’t believe or didn’t understand, but because they didn’t speak up. They were obviously disturbed by what Jesus said. His statement about forgiving the sins of the paralytic was considered blasphemous because only God could forgive sins. But rather than confront Him, ask for clarification, or ask Him to help them understand what He meant by what He said, they kept it to themselves. If Jesus hadn’t addressed what was going on in their hearts, you can bet that they would quickly have had backroom conversations about His statement and told dozens of other people what He had said. They didn’t have the guts to have an honest conversation, so Jesus called them out and had it for them.
This is so typical of our human nature. Whenever someone says something or does something that hurts us, many of us never go to them. We go to 5 or 6 other people and tell them how hurt we are. If someone does something that we think is questionable or concerning, many of us don’t ask them why they did what they did. We tell several other people why WE think they did what they did. Let me drive that deeper. This problem isn’t just with people we know from church or other social circles. For many of us, this is how we operate even with our family or closest friends. Instead of going to them (as Jesus instructs in Matthew 18) and having a heart-to-heart talk, we will sulk, pull away, be mad, or just keep smiling and be resentful on the inside. I’m convinced we could fix 90% of our relational problems if we just learned how to have honest conversations.
Can I go one step further with this? We do the same with God. Often our prayers are not honest prayers. We don’t express our true feelings to God. We don’t tell him our fears, our doubts, or our struggles. We try to act like it’s all okay when the truth is we’re angry because He isn’t responding the way we want Him to respond. But look at our passage again. Jesus KNEW their hearts. He knows yours, too. God isn’t afraid of you expressing your hurts, fears, and frustrations with Him. He's a Big God and He can handle the truth. So stop living out your relationships talking to everyone else but the people you need to be talking to. And stop hiding the hard stuff from God because He already knows about it. Give others and God the gift that everyone wants. An honest conversation. That’s God’s Word for you today.
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