Given that Jesus can read minds. Why did God need to observe external behavior to know what was in the heart?

In Mark 2:8 it reads

And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

and in Deuteronomy 8:2 it reads

And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

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    The question has been labelled both 'trinitarian' and 'non-trinitarian'. Is there a reason for that ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 17:16
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    Jesus discerned people reasoning in front of him. The Lord God led Israel in a particular way so that in the future (after the leading) it would be clearly demonstrated what was previously and secretly hidden in their hearts.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 17:19
  • @Nigel J I labeled it "trinitarian" because trinitarians say Jesus is God because he can read the minds. And I wonderes how can the son enable to himself more access to the mind than the Father Commented Dec 25, 2022 at 2:48
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    What part of those verses do you think indicates that God needs to observe external behaviour? This question seems to me to be based on a false premise.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Dec 25, 2022 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


God has called people to Himself since the Garden. Notable ones were Noah, Abraham, David, the prophets etc, and more recently Jesus and the apostles etc.

Like those before him, Jesus had to prove himself obedient even through the most testing time as his crucifixion drew near.

He offered up both prayers and pleas with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His devout behavior. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. Heb 5:7-8

Those called out from the world into the Kingdom of God need to be consistent, not simply in doing good things, but making the hard choices that means their whole life is proving they have accepted God’s rule in their heart and choose to obey, especially when the test is severe.

Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” Gen 22:12

Sure God knows the heart, but He wants to see the persistent life choices made in faith and trust, (to prove thee) as Jesus and the others did, that prove God is their God, and there is no other.

Jesus said he came to do God’s will and not his own. All will eventually be asked to set aside our will and let God’s will be done.

Reading minds has little to do with developing the kind of character God is creating through His spirit in His creation of man.


Jesus knew the thoughts of others because he was guided by the Holy Spirit, he had no superpowers as attested by him always crediting God with his abilities and words.

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    "Jesus knew the thoughts of others because he was guided by the Holy Spirit", and where does the bible exactly say this? Jesus knows the thoughts of humans because of his first nature, because he is YHWH in the flesh, he has the same nature as his Father. In Rev 2:23, Jesus says "I am He who searches the minds and hearts", uttering what YHWH said in the OT (Jeremiah 17:10, 11:20, 20:12 etc.). Reading minds is something only God can do. Try giving biblical instead of biased answers Steve.
    – Isha
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 7:51

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