Luke 14:1-6 (NIV) 1 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away. 5 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?” 6 And they had nothing to say.
On verses 1-6: This is now at least the third time recorded by Luke where Jesus heals a person on the Sabbath day, in violation of the Pharisees’ man-made rules regarding what can be done on the Sabbath day. But unlike the previous two times recorded in Luke, Jesus heals not at a synagogue but at, or on his way to, a Pharisee’s house to eat (v1). In this case Jesus heals a man from dropsy (or edema), which means that parts of his body were probably very swollen. Before he heals the man, Jesus, knowing that he was being carefully watched, asks the very question that the Pharisees and experts in the law were wondering about: is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not? Similar to what he did in Luke 13:15-16, Jesus gives his rationale for healing on the Sabbath in verse 5: it does not violate the Sabbath to rescue someone from their plight on the Sabbath day.
What can we learn from this?
1. Whenever Jesus asks you a question, it’s not because he doesn’t know the answer. Rather, Jesus asks a question to get us to think, to see what our response would be, and to teach us something important.
2. I love that Jesus is consistent in his attitude and actions, whether he’s inside or outside the synagogue (where people came to worship and hear God’s Word). Jesus didn’t just put on his spiritual face when he was in church (synagogue) and then act differently outside of church. His life was full of consistency. Similarly, may our attitudes, actions, goals and words be consistent whether we are in a church service or outside in the world. May we live to glorify God wherever we are.
Luke 14:7-11 (NIV) 7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
On verses 7-11: One of the big themes of Jesus’ teachings is humility, that instead of seeking our own honour, we should put others first and serve them. God loves to serve and honour those who serve and honour others. Jesus would not just teach this to us with his words; even more Jesus would show this to us with his actions. Jesus would give us his honoured seat with the Father and take the low place that we deserved. Jesus did this when he humbled himself and died for our sins in our place. Jesus practiced what He preached.
Lord Jesus, I praise You for being so consistent, humble and full of integrity. I pray that by Your grace working in my life I too would be marked by consistency and integrity wherever I am, whether I am with church people or with people in the world. May I live and serve You with humility, integrity and consistency wherever I go. In Jesus’ name AMEN!