The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" (Luke 5:21 NASB)
We will look further at this verse, but the thing that strikes me today is this whole idea of "beginning to reason". The Greek word here is "dialogizomai" and means to "reckon up" several different ideas and discuss them or to "revolve in one's mind". I do that sometimes, don't you? It's pretty common to get an idea in your mind, whirl it around a while until you come to some sort of conclusion about your idea, then (because it's been bouncing around your synapses for a while) mistakenly accept it for truth. That's what the scribes and Pharisees did. When Jesus pronounced the man's sins forgiven, one man after another chimed in. Pretty soon, a whirlwind of opinions was spinning around and, as a group, they pulled out a consensus. It was a dialogue and they cobbled some of their words together and made up their minds. They had valid questions, don't get me wrong, but questions are not the same as verified truth. Jesus, however, was about to answer their questions and clarify truth.
There is nothing wrong with group discussion. There is nothing wrong with expressing an opinion. The danger comes in confusing opinion with fact and basing life decisions on opinion rather than truth. What if the man on the stretcher had listened to the Scribes and Pharisees that day, accepted their reasoning as fact, and rejected what Jesus said about forgiving his sins? He would likely have stayed on his stretcher.
As you pray and wait for God to move in the heart of your loved ones, you may hear all kinds of Pharisaical reasoning. "There's only so much God can do" is one such comment that is like fingernails on chalkboards to me. Those speakers must never have been pursued by the Hound of Heaven. What god do they serve? Jehovah can handle it. Today, let's take hold of the God of Scripture, El Shaddai, and leave the "dialogizomai" behind. Hold to the truth we know as expressed in Scripture and the promises it contains.
He is able to deliver. That comes straight from Scripture, and if we can't count on that, what else is there? Trust it. Trust Him.
Today, pray that the One who can forgive sin will wade into our circumstances and do all He can do. Pray for deliverance and healing. Pray for transformation. Pray for change that lasts.