6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Mark 2:6-7 (NIV)
The scribes were thinking, they were thinking with their hearts so there was no intentional malice, they were doing their job, the job of thinking with the heart’s discernment. We are all called to think, to think about God, God’s word, other people, but more than that we are called to think and plan. Think how does God want me to be and do it, think what is this passage telling me about my life, what do I need to change, where is there need in God’s people, do I have anything to match – time, resources, prayer. If we think only with our mind we will get in knots, a verse in the bible could turn into an accusatory idea, not because it is but the mind, being full of logic can’t compute it. Like putting a 2 in binary code. “computer says no, brain says no” But when we think through the heart “we get it” We might get it instantly or it might take us days, months, years but eventually we get it. Meditating on God’s word really helps to understand scripture. When I was younger I travelled with one book, a tattered school King James bible, firstly because if it was found at home it would be thrown out and secondly because away from home I always intended to be immersed in the bible, so I could “get” what my Christian friends had. There were barriers, it was in a language I didn’t understand olde worlde English, I went about it like you do any book, start at the beginning which leads me to the next barrier the begetting. That’s where I stopped every time. And finally the real barrier – I had no idea how to understand – my brain said ‘No’. I had no concept of praying before reading until I joined the bible study here on Wednesday nights. Of opening the eyes of my heart, no concept of that at all. So I might as well have picked up my little red book instead and brought it with me for all I ‘got’
The scribes were thinking, but even as the thought was being formed Jesus knew it. He knows us, he knows what we say and do, he sees our ‘good works’ but if they are done without heart, if our thinking is duty rather than love, Jesus knows. When the phone rings and the whole house groans because they know I’ll be caught up in someone else’s drama for an hour do I answer out of duty or love. Love always, that person needs to be heard, their problem or issue needs to be aired and if I’m the only person on this earth they trust then my household can breathe in and out on it’s own for an hour. When three or four people as often happens have the same idea, do I answer the phone for the fourth time with the same love. Yes, because once I didn’t I let it ring and there was an effect, nothing dreadfully dramatic but an effect none the less.
So think, but think with your heart, think in love, because it is amazing the way thought processed change. There’s a technology term ‘fuzzy logic’, my husband thinks I’m suffering from it because I can’t give logical directions to my house, I don’t know how many houses there are on my road unless I name them one by one. What he doesn’t realise is as I name each of the households I pray peace for them, of course I could remember how many houses there are, it’s only a one digit number but I prefer to pray the names of the people. Fuzzy logic allows machines to think like humans, but machines for all the emotions we put on them can’t think like us because they’ll never know the saving grace of Jesus, they’ll never feel the healing power of the Spirit wrapping around us and they’ll never understand the words of the Bible in their heart, because they don’t have one. They can think but the precious gift we have been given of a heart that can think. They’ll not have that!