Luke 5:22

ESV When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts?
NIV Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, 'Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?
NASB But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, responded and said to them, 'Why are you thinking this way in your hearts?
CSB But perceiving their thoughts, Jesus replied to them, "Why are you thinking this in your hearts?
NLT Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, 'Why do you question this in your hearts?
KJV But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?

What does Luke 5:22 mean?

Jesus is at home in Capernaum, teaching a crowd including Pharisees and their scribes. Unable to get through with their paralyzed friend, a group of men have torn a hole in the roof of the house. Through that, they lowered their friend so Jesus can heal him. Before He does so, Jesus declares the man's sins forgiven. The Pharisees and scribes immediately conclude that Jesus is committing blasphemy by speaking for God and assuming His authority (Luke 5:17–21). They don't verbalize their conclusions (Mark 2:6–7), but Jesus knows what they're thinking and confronts them.

In this context, to "question" means to scrutinize in one's mind: to think about something. In the New Testament, it is often used in the negative sense of unreasonable skepticism. New Testament use of the word "heart" implies the deepest source of one's will and thoughts, as well as emotions. It would have been good for the Pharisees to carefully consider the implications of Jesus' words (Acts 17:11). That's not what they're doing, however. Their conclusion is a result of their volition: their conscious will. They are deliberately manipulating their understanding of Mosaic law and traditions to reject Jesus' claims of authority and accuse Him of blasphemy.

Jesus responds by doing something that flatly contradicts their prejudiced conclusions: He heals the man (Luke 5:24–25). The Law, the Prophets, and the Pharisees' extra-scriptural teachings identify such an act with God's power. By claiming otherwise, it is the scribes and Pharisees who are blaspheming, not Jesus.
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