What does Luke 5:22 mean?
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?
NKJV: But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts?
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Luke 5:17–26 records Jesus' second miracle after the first call of His disciples. He has already touched a man with leprosy (Luke 5:12–16). Now, He declares a paralytic's sins are forgiven. The scribes and Pharisees question Jesus' authority; even after Jesus heals the man, separation between His followers and His detractors continues to grow. Luke follows the pattern of connecting Jesus' provocative actions with His calls to His disciples until all twelve are chosen (Luke 5:27—6:16). The healing of the paralyzed man is also in Matthew 9:1–8 and Mark 2:1–12.
Chapter Summary:
Luke 5 continues Jesus' Galilean Ministry (Luke 4:14—9:50). The passage alternates calls to discipleship with miracles and teachings which demonstrate what discipleship entails. Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, and their business partners, James and John, to follow Him and make more disciples. Then Jesus makes a man with leprosy ceremonially clean. He forgives the sins of a paralytic. After He calls Levi to follow Him, Jesus celebrates instead of fasting. This draws critical questions from the crowd. The religious leaders consider Jesus' actions blasphemous. His message of forgiveness, faith, and repentance cannot be contained by their tradition.
Chapter Context:
Jesus has already proved He can expel demons, heal ailments, and reveal the kingdom of God (Luke 4:31–44). In this chapter, He begins to separate His followers from His detractors. This begins with calling the first five disciples and emphasizing faith and repentance over religious tradition. He will drive home the point by treating the Sabbath as a blessing rather than a burden (Luke 6:1–11). After formally inviting the Twelve to follow Him, Jesus will explain to a crowd what discipleship looks like and invite them to build their lives on Him (Luke 6:12–49). In chapter 7, Jesus champions Gentiles and the marginalized.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
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