Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Luke 14:1-6

Luke 14:1-6
And it became in His coming into the house of a certain chief ruler of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath.  And they were watching Him assiduously.  And behold!  A man with dropsy was before Him.  And answering, Jesus said to the lawyers and the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?”  And they remained silent.  Taking hold of him, He healed him and released him.  And answering them He said, “Which of you, when a son or an ox will fall into a pit, will not immediately pull him up on the Sabbath day?”  And they were not strong enough to answer in contradiction to this teaching.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

They were watching Him.  A ruler of the Pharisees invited Jesus over to eat, just so that they could watch Him.  Are you kidding me?  This shouldn’t surprise me.  Human beings are prone to working with secret agendas.  We like to scheme and plan and trap people in their words and actions.  It’s sad, but it is often how many of us think we’ll get ahead.  Rather than work hard, we step up by stepping on others.  That’s what they are doing here.  They invite Jesus over so that they can trap Him in something He says or does.  Oh yeah.  And just for the record, Jesus goes in.  He’s the Son of God.  He knows their invitation is likely malevolent in nature, but He goes in anyways.

Have you ever been lured into the trap of another?  Have you ever been guilty of trapping others?  What does it say about Jesus that He walks into the trap anyways?  Do you think you are willing to imitate this behavior?  What might make this easier or harder to do?

Second Thought:

Jesus plays a bit of dirty pool Himself.  Jesus takes on the opponents and brings the fight to them.  He asks them if it is right to heal on the Sabbath or not.  They stay quiet.  Of course they do!  If they say, “Yes,” then they validate much of what Jesus has done that they have criticized in the past.  If they say, “No,” then they appear to be cruel and heartless.  Jesus is playing dirty pool here in order to prove a point.  When we structure our life in cases of black and white morality, we often miss the point and are forced to choose between less than desirable extreme choices.  That’s not how Jesus lived.  Jesus sought each moment and found God’s ways within each context.  God’s ways don’t change.  His grace and love is immutable.  But how His grace and love comes to each situation varies with each different context.  Is it right to heal on the Sabbath?  It is, if it is what God the Father desires of you and it brings people closer to Him.

How black and white is your life?  When have you ever been caught by an inflexible ethic that failed by refusing to look at context?

Third Thought:

Jesus wins the day.  He knows that He is right.  Grace, love, and compassion wins the day.  A man is healed and Jesus avoids the trap b offering one up of His own.  He truly is a remarkable man.  Of course, He is the Son of God.  What we can learn from this is that when we face trials because we are doing the work of God, we do not need to fear.  God will give us the courage to get through the trial.  If necessary, He will even give us the words to say to allow us to come out victoriously.

Is it easy for you to trust God when you are being trapped?  Is it easy for you to remember that grace, love, and mercy are the best ways to navigate our ways through the traps and foils of the people around us?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 14:7-11
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