Reading: Luke 14:1-6
And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?” And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go. And answered them, saying, “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?” And they could not answer him again to these things.
In today’s passage we find ourselves in a situation in which Jesus is invited to eat, on the Sabbath, in the home of a Pharisee. The invitation was not motivated by a desire to honor Jesus, but rather to test him, to find a reason to condemn him.
There is a sick man there, and Jesus, who knows what the Pharisees are thinking, asks, “Would it be wrong to heal this man, even on the Sabbath?”
For them, observance of their religious system was the important thing, and they claimed to honor God in that way. Nothing could be further from what God teaches in His Word! (Hosea 6:6)
After healing this man, Jesus confronts their hypocrisy by reminding them that they would not consider it a Sabbath violation to rescue a child from a well. Not even if it were an animal instead of a child!
There are two aspects of this passage that stand out to me:
The first of them is how easily we can fall into empty religiosity and even use it as an excuse not to look with the eyes of Jesus, even when he is right next to us.
The second is seeing how Jesus, even though he knows the intent of the Pharisee accepts his invitation, and not only that, but He heals someone on the Sabbath, and confronts the Pharisees with what is in their hearts, that contradicts what is on their lips.
Jesus acts according to who he is, his identity, his conviction, his mission… And in this way, he brings to light the hypocrisy of the religious leaders.
MEDITATE: Let our faith always move us to see others as Jesus sees them. Let us have faith and firm convictions.
Translation By: Emily Stader