In Luke 5, the story of the healing of the paralyzed man is told, followed by an interaction with Jesus and some religious leaders. Here are the verses of this initial interaction after Jesus forgives the sins of the paralyzed man:
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?
Though rarely shown within his earthly ministry, Jesus is displaying omniscience in Luke’s declaration that he “knew what they were thinking.” This has me considering the omniscience of God, which is a fancy word for God being all-knowing.
On the one hand, omniscience means God can understand your thoughts, but the significance of God being all-knowing goes far beyond that. Nothing has happened or will happen outside of God’s knowledge. This differs, of course, from God predetermining everything, yet is still significant.
God’s omniscience is truth embraced on some level by nearly every Christian I know, but the implications of it are not. Let’s consider two:
1. Nothing exists outside of God’s awareness. We often approach God as if he’s unaware of our deepest longings. We try to get God’s attention.
2. God doesn’t need to learn anything. We often want God to evolve to our understanding of things. We try to inform God of how things are.
Rather than approaching God as if he’s in need of a lesson from us, or that he may be unaware of what we need, I think God’s omniscience should prompt two responses from us:
1. Humility. God knows everything there is to know about you. He knows you better than you know yourself. That means he knows the parts you try to hide.
2. Security. God knows you and he promises that he will meet your every need. He knows all the parts you might try to hide and he still loves you.
This balance of humility and security is a helpful approach in relating with God and communicating that relationship to others. On the one hand, there is someone you are completely exposed before. On the other hand, nothing can stop the eternal reality and blessing over your life.