Jesus heals a man with dropsy on the Sabbath

The Miracles of Jesus

March 25, 2021

Jesus heals a man with dropsy on the Sabbath

Luke 14:1-6

The Gospels speak of many ailments. We’ve read of the healings by Jesus of blindness, deafness, leprosy, bleeding, demon possession. In today’s reading from Luke, Jesus heals a man of dropsy.

Today we no longer call the ailment the man had dropsy; now, it’s referred to as Edema. Edema is a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the body’s cavities or tissues. Usually, this illness is connected with congestive heart failure, as well as liver or kidney failure.

“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.”

One has to wonder why a person with dropsy was at the home of a Pharisee. The passage notes that Jesus was being carefully watched. Perhaps the Pharisee invited the ailing man to see if Jesus would heal him on the Sabbath. This would then result in Jesus being trapped and accused of not following the Sabbatical rules.

In his case, before healing the man, Jesus asks the Pharisees and experts of the law a question:

When Jesus healed the woman, who had been crippled for 18 years, He did not ask. He simply healed her.

But, if we look back at the miracle of Jesus healing the man with a withered hand, He asked the synagogue members a question.

When Jesus did ask a question about what was lawful on the Sabbath, He was never asking permission. Jesus was putting the religious leaders on the spot. Nevertheless, in each case, He always healed the ailing person.

In today’s devotion, Jesus’ follow-up question speaks to the heart of the matter concerning the Sabbath.

Jesus was trying to tell the religious leaders that love comes first. The Pharisees and religious leaders were concerned about following the letter of the law. Jesus emphasized that people’s well-being is more important than following the Sabbatical law to the letter.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t follow the commandments or rules in general. The regulations and laws are put in place for a reason. But, at the same time, we must put the well-being of others first.

Jesus said:

Serve others as Jesus did, and always put your neighbor’s best interests first.

Dear Jesus. Sometimes it’s very confusing. But you cleared away the clouds of confusion in our life through your teachings and death on the cross. Our priorities as Christians are to Love God and love people. Help us to follow your lead as we pursue the best interests of others. Amen

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