Thursday, March 22, 2018
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
14 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 abnormal swelling of his body. 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 on his way. 5 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?” 6 And they had nothing to say.
Jesus wasn’t afraid to talk to the Pharisees even though he knew they were against them. It might be compared to going over to the pastor’s house for Sunday brunch. But in this case, it wasn’t a friendly environment for him to walk into.
Some think the Pharisees may have planted the man with “dropsy” to see how he would handle it. “The man was afflicted with dropsy, which is an “abnormal accumulation of serous fluid in the tissues of the body” (Liefeld) They knew Jesus’ heart would be apt to reach out and heal the man. The issue was not about healing but healing on the Sabbath. And, in fact, healing on the Sabbath was not forbidden in the Law. It was a tradition that was added to the Law.
Here is what one commentator says, “Jesus never broke the commandments of God, but He often offended man’s traditions that surrounded and extended the commandments of God. The commandments of God are enough, and we should never make the traditions of man – even good traditions – equal to the commandments of God.” (Guziik)
Finally, Jesus brought it home on a personal level and asked them if their child or ox got hurt would they not rescue them. This showed the duplicity in their observance of these traditions. What is clear here is that the Law got in the way of what it was intended to do. The Law was to give the Israelites' life not take it away. Laws have their place in society to keep order in our world, but when the church uses laws that move us away from Good News we have found in Jesus, we are in big trouble!
Why do you think the Pharisees were looking to trap Jesus? How can traditions in the church be dangerous and conflict with the bible? What might be an example today, or in the church’s past?