Luke 14:1-6 The Message
1-3 One time when Jesus went for a Sabbath meal with one of the top leaders of the Pharisees, all the guests had their eyes on him, watching his every move. Right before him there was a man hugely swollen in his joints. So Jesus asked the religion scholars and Pharisees present, “Is it permitted to heal on the Sabbath? Yes or no?”
4-6They were silent. So he took the man, healed him, and sent him on his way. Then he said, “Is there anyone here who, if a child or animal fell down a well, wouldn’t rush to pull him out immediately, not asking whether or not it was the Sabbath?” They were stumped. There was nothing they could say to that.
Healing on the Sabbath is one of the things that Jesus was continually getting into trouble for doing. It seems obvious to us—of course one would/should heal on the Sabbath. However, it was not so obvious in the first century, at least not to the Pharisees who sought to live out the laws of Torah to their best ability. Jesus however, understood the law a bit differently—the law was there to help humanity not to keep humanity under its thumb. Hence, for Jesus it was obvious—of course you’d heal on the Sabbath, you’d heal whenever you could.
The time is always right to heal and to help others. John Wesley said that we should “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” This is how Jesus lived his life as well—doing what he could whenever he had the opportunity to do so. How can we possibly go wrong taking John Wesley’s advice and following the way Jesus lived?
God of grace and mercy, you have done more than just give us the law, you became human—flesh and blood to show us how to live by the law as well. You brought us grace because we can’t adhere to the law and follow it on our own; we need you to live life your way. Help us to have the courage and strength to do all we can for whoever we can whenever we can. Amen.