In commenting on Matt 9:4, Barnes says this:
Jesus, knowing their thoughts - Mark says, "Jesus perceived "in his
spirit" that they so reasoned." The power of searching the heart, and
of knowing the thoughts of people, belongs only to God, 1 Chronicles
28:9; Romans 8:27; Revelation 2:23; Jeremiah 17:10. In claiming this,
as Jesus did here, and often elsewhere, he gave clear proofs of his
omniscience, John 2:24-25.
While I agree with the first part of this statement, I would beg to differ with the second part about Jesus using His innate divine omniscience. While I do not doubt that Jesus was fully divine and possessed omniscience, the incident here does not necessarily display such because of several considerations:
- Others such as Paul and Barnabas, Peter & John, etc, did great miracles and these are never taken as evidence of their divinity - only their imparted use of Jesus' Power.
- Jesus promised that His disciples would do greater miracles that He did in John 14:12
- Several other references make it clear that Jesus acted at all times during his incarnation in the same way as we should in order to set us an example of complete dependence of the Father:
1 Peter 2:21 - To this you were called, because Christ suffered for
you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
Heb 4:14-16 - Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has
passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly
to what we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to
sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in
every way that we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the
throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find
grace to help us in our time of need.
1 John 2:5, 6 - By this we know that we are in Him: 6Whoever claims to
abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked.
Thus, it is clear that Jesus lived (among other things) to set an example of dependence on the Father - a much greater temptation for Jesus who did not need to live that way; but we must.
Therefore, on the basis of the above, I suggest that Jesus used no power not available to any of the disciples - in Matt 9:4 Jesus was presumably prompted by the Holy Spirit to perceive the thoughts of the leaders.