One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” And they could not reply to these things. Luke 14 1:6
In today’s verses we see that Jesus was invited to the house of a prominent Pharisee to dine on the Sabbath. Now one of the people three just happened to be ill with dropsy. It is doubtful the ill man was there for any other reason than to be used to accuse Jesus of working on the Sabbath.
Dropsy is an old term and rarely used today. It was a catchall term for when the body retained excess fluids. The definition of dropsy from Medicinenet.com is “Dropsy: An old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water. In years gone by, a person might have been said to have dropsy. Today one would be more descriptive and specify the cause. Thus, the person might have edema due to congestive heart failure.” Dropsy could also be caused by cancer or possibly liver or kidney problems. Whatever the cause this man was ill and suffering.
Jesus knowing what was in the hearts of the Pharisees asked them a question, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” A simple question. One that could be answered with one word, yes or no. When we are talking with unbelievers we need to learn from how Jesus approached them. Not in a confrontational manner but by asking questions. Many times we can get the other person to see the error of their ways when they answer. Or we can find out that like the Pharisees the person we are with just cannot bring themselves to answer our question.
After the Pharisees refused to answer Jesus healed the man and sent him away. But Jesus was not done. He spoke to the Pharisees and asked them another question, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” Both Jesus and the Pharisees knew that people did things on the Sabbath that might be considered work but they did these things out of necessity or the help someone. Yet when it came to Jesus the Pharisees were willing to forget or ignore the things they did in order to trap Jesus.
People tend to do the same things today. We live in a world that worships at the altar of relativity. Even many Christians feel that some truths are relative, that is true for you but not true for me. But the truth about truth is that all truths are absolutely true. The Pharisees wanted some truths such as helping on the Sabbath to be true for them but not for Jesus.
This can be shown when people say that moral truths are relative and not based on some moral authority. This works up to the point that someone else’s view of morality conflicts with their own view. For example, if someone breaks into their home and takes their possessions their first thought is not, “well that person who took my possessions must believe taking someone else’s property is okay. No, what they think is I have been robbed and that person needs to be punished to the full extent of the law.”
A question can be a powerful thing. It can start a conversation. It can cause a person to rethink their own position or it can show you that the person really is not open to a conversation and only wants an argument.
Have a blessed day,