The Sabbath-Luke 14:1-6

Luke 14:1-6 “One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?”  But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away. Then he asked them, “If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?”  And they had nothing to say.”

Luca 14:1-6 “Gesù entrò di sabato in casa di uno dei principali farisei per prendere cibo, ed essi lo stavano osservando; ed ecco, davanti a lui c’era un uomo idropico. Gesù prese a dire ai dottori della legge e ai farisei: «È lecito o no fare guarigioni in giorno di sabato?» Ma essi tacquero. Allora egli lo prese per mano, lo guarì e lo congedò. Poi disse loro: «Chi di voi, se gli cade nel pozzo un figlio o un bue, non lo tira subito fuori in giorno di sabato?» Ed essi non potevano rispondere nulla in contrario.”

Jesus had been warned by some Pharisees to leave the area because Herod was trying to kill him (Luke 13:31) and had already faced the Pharisees over the discussion of what was lawful on the Sabbath. Now here, on the Sabbath, Jesus is eating bread with a prominent Pharisee who was most likely a ruler. Sabbath meals were simple: small portions that always included bread. Every action of Jesus was carefully scrutinized especially at the table of the ruling Pharisee. What an opportunity to prove once again that God’s laws are subject to God’s mercy yet can be twisted by men in order to overturn its original intent.

It seems quite obvious that the man with dropsy had an invitation for dinner from the Pharisee just to see what Jesus would do in this setting. But Jesus, knowing their hearts, asks the question, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” and wisely puts the onus on them (healing was considered work in their minds). By not responding to the question, however, they in essence answered it! Jesus healed the man instantly and sent him on his way. The reason for Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath came from the Pharisees’ own rules. Jesus uses their faulty interpretation of the grace and mercy of God. For their own self-interest, they could do work; i.e. save their son or ox, but in compassion for others, if it didn’t profit them, they had no interest. Any regard for the Sabbath was only a pretense of how it affected them. Once again, their silence showed their contempt for Jesus and their unwillingness to acknowledge that Jesus was Lord of the Sabbath.

Pray with me: Lord, as I follow Your Word, help me to know how to rightly divide the Word of Truth knowing that Your grace has no boundaries.



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