Luke 5:21 – And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
This verse was written at a time when Jesus was choosing the men who would be His disciples. He was already becoming very popular with the common people. They were under such oppression from all the laws that had been made by the religious rulers of that time, that Jesus must have seemed like a breath of fresh air.
His teachings seemed so simple compared to the heavy load of their everyday lives. By this time in their history, almost everything they did was regulated by some kind of religious law. There were over 600 laws that had come into effect from the original Ten Commandments.
The Sanhedrin and Pharisees had become very powerful in Israel. They had such power that they were able to lead the people in just about any direction they desired. Not only were they revered by the people, they could pretty much do whatever they wanted and get away with it. Life was great for them until Jesus came on the scene.
So their whole identity was threatened when Jesus started teaching with such power and authority. The common people were mesmerized by Him and saw quickly that Jesus was different from the ball-and-chain religion they had been burdened down with for so long. He preached that they could be set free if they would just learn what the Truth was and start doing it.
As the people started to be swayed more and more by the teachings of Jesus, the Pharisees could see their power slipping away. They were quickly losing their popularity with the people. Multitudes of people were following Jesus everywhere he went and He was healing them and doing great miracles among them.
I’m sure that by this time the Pharisees were getting desperate and grasping for anything they could find to get rid of Jesus. They could not come up with anything really concrete, though, until Jesus healed the paralyzed man that was let down through the roof in Luke 5: 17-19.
Jesus had much compassion, because the men had been concerned enough about their friend to actually take the roof off the house where He was teaching. They were convinced that if they could get their friend to Jesus he would be healed – AND HE WAS.
The Pharisees found what they were looking for when Jesus looked at the man and said, “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.”
So this brings us back to verse 21.
And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
So who were the Scribes and Pharisees?
Scribe – professional writer, secretary, town clerk
Pharisee – a separatist that is exclusively religious
Immediately they started ‘to reason’ about the audacity of Jesus to say that He could forgive a person’s sins, even though He had told them from the very start that He was the Son of God.
They were so caught up in their own egos that they didn’t realize Jesus was the Savior that had been prophesied long ago. They expected him to save them by going to war with their oppressors. They never expected that He would set up His Kingdom in a different way.
What is the Greek meaning of these two words?
To Reason – to reckon thoroughly, to deliberate by reflection or discussion, cast in mind, consider, dispute, muse, think
“Reason” is a verbal noun that in English usually has “to” in front of it. It has a great many more uses in Greek than in English.
It’s used here in the present tense middle voice, which means that the subject always acts in some way upon himself or concerning himself. So the SUBJECT here would be Scribes and Pharisees. Also, there is no middle voice in English.
The present tense represents contemporaneous action that is, living or occurring at the same time, as opposed to action in the past or future. In all forms it refers to continuous repeated present action.
So if a person “reasons” about the wrong things, he is acting on those things in some way with an action that is “living and occurring” in the present time. You are not acting on something that has already happened, or is going to happen. This action is alive in the here and now.
To “reason” in the flesh can be the beginning of doubt and unbelief that leads to criticism and other bad things, then takes you on a downward spiral that can quickly get out of control. So this “reasoning” was the start of what led to the eventual crucifixion of Jesus.
Actually, the Pharisees broke almost every one of the laws THEY had made to finally get to the point of bringing Jesus to the cross. They were so determined to get rid of him that they decided they would stop at nothing to get what they wanted.
Be very careful what you “reason” about. As we have just seen, it is entirely possible to be so deceived about something and “reason” about it enough that you can get to the point of justifying that whatever you do is right.
Don’t let yourself start reasoning about something while you are in the flesh. It will lead to many wrong conclusions, and Satan will be thrilled to feed you a continuous barrage of garbage to make you more and more upset.
As soon as you know you are in the flesh, STOP! Then start to pray, read the Bible, or do whatever it takes to get back into thinking the way that God would have you to think.
Don’t let Satan let you “reason” your way into doing something that you will deeply regret.
This post written by Cathy Deaton.
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How To Deal With A Selfish Person
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