“Is it Lawful to Heal on the Sabbath?” A Devotion from Luke 14:1-6 (esv).
On a particular Sabbath, the day of rest for the Jews, we see the Master as a master teacher of hearts. As Jesus was being watched carefully in a possible set-up, He was a few steps ahead of the Pharisees and lawyers, responding, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?”. He went straight to the living reality of their lives prior to His act of healing the man amongst them who suffered from “dropsy” or modern-day edema.
His question tested their kind-heartedness, not their expert knowledge of the 613 levitical laws created from the mosaic commandments so they could have salvation by works. Most likely, they weren’t expecting Jesus to bring them into what was good and right in their own lives. They were silent in response when questioned as our merciful Jesus took the diseased man, healed him and sent him away. He proved the priority of love in His new covenant salvation by faith!
He returned to convict the hearts of all gathered, demonstrating not only the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, but pointing out their potential existing considerations of kindness and mercy. Jesus goes a step further with them, making it personal; their very own son, the essential working ox. If you love your own so much, can’t you also love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 2:39)? They are again silenced and could not reply as they must have known how Jesus was right.
Our Lord of the Sabbath saw beyond the schemes of man into wicked accusing hearts, uninhibited to do what was right. He cancelled the hypocrisy of man’s impossible laws, and demonstrated the superior eternal law of love for mankind. Salvation in Christ Jesus depends upon the law accomplished in Him. His love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14). For when we have Christ we also have His righteous love.
Dear Jesus, Your law of love is superior to any way we know. Please convict our hearts when we think we have all the answers. Teach us not to fool ourselves in self-righteous views of others but to actually care for their welfare. Help us to not remain silent once convicted by You, Jesus. But instead, assist our words towards love, mercy and forgiveness with sincere hearts, so you may be glorified in our lives. Amen