“And Jesus knowing their thoughts …” (Matthew 9:4)
These may be some of the most intimidating and convicting words in scripture. They should serve to eliminate ANY pretense of “self-righteousness” from every one of us: “Jesus, knowing their thoughts.”
It is one thing to try to “act” self-righteous, as if you are better than others, etc. But it is another to realize that God knows your THOUGHTS. Some of us do pretty well at suppressing our actions, under either the godly influence of others around us, or sometimes selfish or even hypocritical “peer pressure” motives. But most of us would admit that our thoughts fall well short even of the standard of our outward actions.
We may win some battles in the arena of our habits or actions, but the battlefield of the mind is another matter entirely. How much do we let run amuck in our thoughts? It is like God said of man in Genesis 6:5: “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Parse that sentence and see what a condemning statement for mankind that is! And if we are honest, most of us would admit that these words do not merely apply to “all mankind”, but also to US as individuals ourselves.
As a result, there should be no “self-righteousness” among Christians. God knows our thoughts! The only hope you have of heaven is for salvation by God’s grace through Jesus Christ. A “righteousness” that includes thoughts like those that inhabit your mind will never carry you to heaven. You must rely on Jesus to save you!
This should also eliminate any “holier than thou” attitudes among believers too. Who are we to look down on anyone else, when we have such thoughts as we do, going on in our minds?
There should be a vast and deep humility that pervades our whole fellowship: GOD KNOWS OUR THOUGHTS! This should call us to continual prayer and repentance and reliance on the Holy Spirit. It really “tears the mask off” of one’s surface religiosity when you realize that the front you put on for others doesn’t fly with God. As one said years ago: “The secrets of your heart are open scandal in heaven.” Let all that this implies speak to your life: Jesus knows your thoughts!