“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 abnormal swelling of his body. 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 on his way. Then he asked them, ‘If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?’ And they had nothing to say.” Luke 14:1-6
Once again, it was the Sabbath, the favorite day of the Pharisees to “catch” Jesus. He had been invited to dine with a ruler of this group. Was this an invitation out of a pure heart to learn, or was there an ulterior motive on the part of this ruler? We don’t know, but there was a crowd of the teachers of the law and religious leaders. Of course, they were watching.
A man was there who was suffering from what has been referred to as dropsy. It is a condition where the body is not processing fluids correctly. This can happen for different reasons but causes swelling.
Jesus could see what the cause was. Jesus could see what the cure was. And the watchers waited. What would Jesus do on this very sacred day?
“Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” He asked them.
They did not answer.
Jesus did not need their approval. He did not need their answer. He was and is Lord of the Sabbath. He healed the man and sent him away. Healed, whole, and going home, the man left…on the Sabbath. It was such a good day for that man.
But the leaders continued to watch.
Jesus asked them another simple question, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?”
What a question. Imagine a father seeing his son drowning in a well and peering down at him saying, “Son, I’ll be back tomorrow to help. Try to tread water till I come back.” Or if it was even one of his animals would the religious leader just let the animal drown? The ridiculousness of this must have been both deafening and silencing.
They could not reply.