Why Do We Reason in Our Hearts?

Mary & Risen Lord

But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned among themselves, he said unto them, “Why reason you these things in your hearts?” (Mark 2:6-8 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they discussed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were held that they should not know him… Then he said unto them, O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?… And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem… and Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and said unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have. (Luke 24:13-39 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

As I read the above passages it occurred to me that Hearts were not given us to reason and judge with, but to love. Jesus said, “Why do you reason in your hearts?” Too often as Christians we let our reason displace His love for others in our hearts. As I read these words, the truth of what He was saying hit me. Many of us left-brained religious people do not love with our hearts, but instead turn to “reason” to decide what we are to do in each situation and how we treat people. These early disciples were like the scribes in Mark chapter two, constantly reasoning in their hearts. As a result, they were blinded to the Truth that Jesus had risen from the dead just as He said He would. He had told all of them before He went to the cross that He would have to die and then rise again.

It is interesting that one woman was moved by love and not by reason, and she was the first to see the risen Christ and recognize Him!

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rab-bo’ni!” (which means Teacher). (John 20:15-16 RSVA)

Mary Magdolin, upon hearing Jesus say her name, knew it was Him. Unlike the men that Jesus appeared to, she did not reason in her heart that Jesus was dead, so there was an immediate heart connection! This is one of the most touching scenes in the Bible.

Oh, dear saints, why do we reason in our hearts? God is love and if we are to apprehend all that He has for us, it will not be by our reasoning, but by responding to His love, being moved by Him, and being led of Him with our hearts filled with His love.

Jesus was motivated always by the love and mercy of the Father! Satan used reason to appeal to Eve–if she would eat of that forbidden tree, she would be on the fast track to becoming like God. That got us all in this mess we see today!

The woman was convinced [through Satan’s reasoning]. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too. (Genesis 3:6 NLT)

God has given us new hearts in Christ and filled them with His love. Agape love should be the most powerful thing operating in us, telling us how to respond in each situation. The love of God in our hearts is the one earmark of those who are truly born anew of the Father. Jesus said:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

[But it was as if Peter didn’t hear a word of what Jesus was saying.]

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” (John 13:34-37 RSVA)

Again, his reasoning made him blind to the truth. We cannot apprehend the truth of God by our reasoning, but only by abiding in His love. It was the love relationship between the Father and the Son that opened Jesus to hearing His Father in all things.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel. (John 5:19-20 RSVA – emphasis added)

Paul wrote that knowledge will pass away, but the greatest of all these gifts from God is love and it will never pass away. The scribes used their knowledge of the law to judge Jesus for forgiving the lame man’s sins. If they had been in their hearts instead of relying on their reason, they would have rejoiced that this man’s sins had just been forgiven and he was made whole and walked again, but they had no love in them, only judgment based on human reason. The law is subject to the knowledge of good and evil. Satan still hangs out in that tree, not the Tree of Life. Jesus came that we might have life, not death.

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:56-57 KJ2000)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2 RSVA)

And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17 KJ2000)

There is one commandment that we are to follow in the New Covenant… Love.

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:10-12 RSVA – emphasis added)

Or as Paul wrote:

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10 RSVA – emphasis added)

John also expanded on this theme in 1 John 4:17-21.

So dear saints, we should seek to be perfected as children of God. That perfection is found in those who abide in and are moved by His love. The world doesn’t need any more death-preaching of legalism that knows no love. It is the love of God that leads us to repentance, not preaching about His wrath and judging people for their sins. Remember, we will be judged just as we judge others, but mercy triumphs over judgment. Let us love all men with our hearts and not displace His love with our cold reasoning. Amen.

26 comments on “Why Do We Reason in Our Hearts?

  1. Becky Johnson says:

    Micheal, you wrote this: “The world doesn’t need any more death-preaching of legalism that knows no love. It is the love of God that leads us to repentance, not preaching about His wrath and judging people for their sins.”

    Hallelujah! I could hear a hundred “yeah, but what about’s” from the religious peanut gallery. But I concur wholeheartedly with this sentiment.

    I read a story on the Facebook (yes, I’m back on) Humans of New York page the story of a young man who seven years ago, was standing on the ledge on the thirteenth floor of a building. He had tried to quit drinking but couldn’t. He had given up. He stood there filled with shame over all he had ever done. The whispers shouted at him, “Jump, you piece of *$%!” He went on to say that he then heard a whisper, “Say a prayer.” He likened the feeling he got to a mother knocking on the door of a kids room who is looking at porn. He didn’t want to listen. But it came again, “Say a prayer.” And so he did. He tells that he then felt an evil presence leave him. He excalimed, “I can’t believe you still love me!” He got off the ledge, cleaned up his room, threw out his drugs, and went to work.

    An amazing story of redemption based on the soft but relentless love of our Father, who, even on a suicidal ledge while the demons are condemning, can whisper His love into a shamed heart and free us.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Becky Johnson says:

      And to add in keeping with the title and topic of your post, had this man reasoned in his heart, he may very well be dead today. I think we all agree how easy it is to believe the lies in the dark. But he didn’t reason in his heart, and he is alive.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Becky, this is a great story of how our Father will do what He has to do in order to draw us with His love. It is interesting that He did not say, “If you commit suicide you will go to hell, your final act will be murder!” Yet, this is what I have heard so many religious people say. Mercy triumphs over all sin and judgment!
      Blessings on you, Dear Becky!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So true, we want to reason everything out. We want to make sense of things, we want to argue with each other about interpretations and meanings of scripture. We work and strive to live up to what we think we should do for God, and we get mad and judge others when they fall short. Yet the only thing we are told to do is love. Love God, love others, don’t judge, show mercy. Good article.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Michael D. There is a saying that goes, “Too soon old, too late smart” Maybe it should read, “Too soon old, to late HEART!” I am glad that God gives us enough time to get the point, though. I only wish that it could have happened sooner…God’s love and mercy reigning in our hearts.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Omg I love love love this! Thanks for writing it and I definitely shared it 😍

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That was a wonderful article, Michael. Very Scriptural and thoughtfully written! 🙂 The following two sentences of yours just sprang out on me.

    “We cannot apprehend the truth of God by our reasoning, but only by abiding in His love. It was the love relationship between the Father and the Son that opened Jesus to hearing His Father in all things.”

    There is so much truth in them because The Truth is a person, it is Jesus. His disciples only apprehended the truth of what was written in Scripture when they decided to let go of their own thoughts and looked to Him, waiting for HIS explanation. They needed to listen instead of continuing with their mind-babbling brain activity which kept them both focused on themselves (self-focused) and imprisoned by the natural limitations of fallen humanity. If we want to enter the kingdom of God, we need to move on from our habitual way of thinking to a land where only children may enter, children who do not know prejudice nor canned “theologicalisms”.

    Jesus could only hear His Father because He listened to God 24/7. He saw Him and He looked at Him for guidance in order to do His will, not His own. Why? Because He loved Him. And without loving The Truth, there is no full comprehension of the truth possible for us, either. Ever.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, your comment is much appreciated. YES! The truth is a Person! Jesus said that HE is the truth. Truth is not an endless list of facts and statements as it is spoken of in our legal systems. Truth is found in Jesus Christ because He is the one who is in total unity with His Father who created the universe and all that is in it. To be in harmony with our Creator and do His will as one of His creatures is to live in the Truth. For this to happen we must have that harmony and peace in our inward parts (Ps. 51:6), our hearts, where all our motivations come from. The Bible calls this entering into His rest (see Heb. ch. 4).

      How often I have gone against that gentle nudge of the Lord and said something to others that turned out to be destructive to the peace and unity we shared. Like Peter, in one moment I can be speaking revelation from God and in the next I can be saying something that causes disunity and is NOT truth. What I said might be true as far as facts are concerned, but because I was not “speaking the truth in Love” it was not God’s Truth. To speak the Truth in Love is to speak the very words of God into the heart of another once He has prepared that heart to hear it. What a hard lesson to learn!

      God bless you, dear sister.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Michael,

        What I found inspiring in your latest reply to me was that you made me ponder on the difference between facts and truth. As for me, I believe that facts refer to a short-sighted perspective we as “reasonable” human beings normally have. Thinking of a blind person, for example, we might ask whether it is a fact that the sky is blue when the sun is shining. For someone who has never seen colors, this fact is worthless. I know a blind woman with who I talked about seeing colors and she tried hard to explain to me that she “saw” colors too, yet she knew they were not the same colors we might perceive. So, what’s the truth or what are the facts here? Only God knows…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        I got some more insight as I read your reply, dear Susanne. I was reminded about the blind man who Jesus healed in two stages. At first he saw men as trees walking… facts, only facts. Then Jesus prayed for him again and then he saw all men clearly. It was then that he saw in Truth as Jesus does, for he also saw JESUS clearly! Facts are inanimate objects, but truth has scope and depth and is felt with the heart.
        Thanks for sharing your heart’s perspective with us, dear sister. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. As always, very perceptive, Michael. Loved the “left brain” reference! :0) The scene with Mary Magdalene is very dear to my own heart. I was reminded, also, of Jesus’ interaction with Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha was so focused on tending to the physical needs of her guests (however important those might be) that she nearly missed spending time with Jesus.

    Have I mentioned that you craft your posts much like legal briefs? Hope you don’t take that as an insult (LOL).

    With love, your sister in Christ,

    Anna ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Anna,
      Yikes! Legal briefs! 🙂 Is it all the scripture references I quote? The Spirit speaks to me through Bible verses that He has hid in my heart and so I tend to write with them as a result as I hear His voice. Yes, Jesus made it clear that day when Martha came storming in out of the kitchen and Mary was sitting at His feet soaking up the love, that Mary had chosen the better part in the situation. We religious people are all about our good works and getting things done, but God would rather have us spending time with Him and communicating with Him in His love. It is only from this place of resting in Him that we can truly do works that are pleasing to Him. When we serve others out of a sense of duty instead of love, they know the difference.

      Love you, too, my sister,

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Pat Orr says:

    My Brother, what a wonderful post. I am guilty of substituting reason, for hearing Him and obeying what He says. I repent, because He has the grace for me to change. As Paul so well says in I Corinthians 13, love is a more excellent way. My prayer is: Father, grant that we your children will live, move, and have our being in your Love. It really is a new and living way, not the old way.

    His love in us,
    Pat Orr

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Pat! I also am guilty of being in my head more than in my heart all too often. God is hard to reason with… He thinks HE is God, not us. But I understand the need to have Him have HIS way in us for our ways are NOT His ways and our thoughts (reasonings) are not His thoughts. Yes, dear Pat, I agree with your prayer… the NEW Covenant really is a NEW and LIVING way. In Christ ALL things are made new and the old things are passed away. The key is to abide IN Christ with all our hearts, not just think about Him.

      In Him and in His love with you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Kennth Dawson says:

    This is truly a magnificent post and it is because it shows how vain our human reasoning is–When you truly fall in love with someone you don’t want reasons all you want is to be with them and share your life with them regardless of what your reasoning might speak to you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      You have got it, Kenneth! Love is from the heart, not the mind. When we are in love our minds follow our hearts. God is love and if we are to relate to Him it must be through love, not theology.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Tim Shey says:

    Reasoning is for the brain, not the spirit. We apprehend the Lord through our spirit; we perceive the leadings of the Holy Spirit through our spirit. It is childlike faith.

    The problem with the Jewish Pharisees is that they had the scriptures in their heads, they were spiritually dead (they were conformed to the world) and that is why they rejected Christ. Christian Pharisees are the same: they have Bible verses in their heads, they are spiritually dead, so it is easy for them to reject Christ (the anointing—it is a spiritual thing, not a mental thing). The Bible is a spiritual book and the scriptures need to be engrafted into our spirit, not our brain.

    The letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Right on, Tim! I couldn’t have said it better, my brother. Or like Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life. I receive not honor from men. But I know you, that you have not the love of God in you.” (John 5:39-42 KJ2000)

      Thanks for the comment, my brother,

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tim Shey says:

        Michael: I like what Watchman Nee once said in his classic THE SPIRITUAL MAN. Nee said that the brain is the servant to the spirit. The spirit of man (empowered by the Holy Ghost) uses the brain to access information (like the Bible); this information is then engrafted into the spirit and this is how we bear much fruit.

        There is nothing wrong with the brain in it’s place. The brain does not perceive the things of the Spirit: the spirit perceives the things of the Spirit. The brain/mind is part of the soul; the soul is not the spirit. This is why young believers in Christ may have a hard time fellowshipping with spiritual believers in Christ.

        John 6: 63: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”


        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Thanks Tim, I was helped out a lot by reading Watchman Nee books when I was younger in understanding the functions of the body, soul and spirit and how they interrelate in a born again believer. My favorite of all His “writings” for this is “The Normal Christian Life.” I have to admit that I was never able to get all the way through “The Spiritual Man” by Nee. It is very long and is more like a text book than not. It was the only book he personally wrote and later said that he regretted writing it because it was too detailed and he feared that people would use it to try and do by the flesh what only the Spirit can do. Yes, it is the Spirit that gives us life and the soulish intellect profits nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Mia says:

    Dearest Michael
    I remember the day when I realized that love is all that it is about! I was humbled to the greatest degree when I realized that I was unable to love this way at all. Oh, but what freedom when our Pappa revealed to my inmost heart that He didn’t create us with the ability to love others this way at all. He only created us with the ability to receive our Lord Jesus to allow Him to love others through us. Now it becomes so natural to love, for Jesus alone ( not my efforts which is actually the evil spirit’s work) and Him alone, is my glorious hope of reflecting the glory of our dearest God. I need to receive Him as my life from the one moment to the next as He desires to live His resurrection Life through me. I only need to come to Him and abide in Him by faith and faith alone!
    Much love XXXX

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Dear Mia,
      Yes, I came to the same conclusion that I as a man am morally bankrupt and can do nothing to love God or others as He does without Him in me.
      This verse says it all for me, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” Yes, it is by faith alone, throwing ourselves totally on Him. And our Father even gives us the faith of Jesus to get us there.

      Say “Hi” to Andre for me.
      Love to you both,
      Michael ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. daryl says:

    Love the post and the comments, but I must say that I feel that theology and doctrine have been given a bit of a “bad rap”.Rightly understood,they only make us more in love with our Savior,the world He created,and the people in it. One of my favorite books by Lewis Chafer is theology,and he writes “the unchanging emphasis in the Scriptures upon doctrine, which subject is referred to in the New Testament more than 40 times and is that to which a christian is to “take heed” (1Tim.1:3; 4:6,16; 2Tim.3:10,16; 4:2,3),stands as a silent rebuke,whether heeded or not, to all modern notions which belittle the importance of theology,and also stands as a corrective to those who neglect it.”….and “It is a short step indeed from the ignorance of doctrine to the rejection and ridicule of it,and it can be safely stated that there is no rejection of sound doctrine which is not based on ignorance”. I understand the negative impression people have. A quote I read says “the Word became flesh – and then through theologians it became words again”- Karl Barth ….but the problem is not doctrine or theology,but some of the men who have made it so dry and unappealing. I would encourage everyone to read books on doctrine and theology and of course study the Word,never being satisfied with the results of the studies of others. The Word is alive,and the study of it is a joy and an immeasurable gain to the believer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Daryl, for your comment. Karl Barth’s observation is only part of the problem. When a teaching coming forth from a person is dry, chances are that it is not coming from the Fountain of Living Waters. In the beginning when these sighted passages were written men were inspired by the Holy Spirit in what they taught (the meaning of the Greek word didache translated “doctrine” is teaching). But as the church became divided and fractured as it is today, every teacher has to put a spin on what he teaches according to the organization he represents (or is building around himself) or he will soon be out of a job. As for all these false teachers that were working their way into the church by the end of the first century and what to do about them John wrote,

      “Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; by which we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things… These things have I written unto you concerning them that deceive you. But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him.” (1 John 2:18-27 KJ2000)

      The problem is not only with people rejecting sound teaching, but the problem is with people who do not listen to the voice of the Spirit who Jesus sent to be our Teacher!

      “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:25-26 KJ2000)

      “[He] Who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit is saying to the ecclesias.” (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22 CLV – emphasis added).
      Yes, Jesus repeats Himself seven times with this same phrase to a church that was rapidly growing away from Him. You would think that somebody would take notice!

      Liked by 1 person

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