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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


19. Christ at a Pharisee's House (Luke 14:1-24)

LUKE 14:01-06
1 Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. 2 And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy. 3 And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” 4 But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go. 5 Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” 6 And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

Why did the Jews observe the Sabbath for rest and worship with such strict adherence that it was expressly forbidden to kindle fire for cooking, heal the sick, or travel a long distance, in addition to more than one hundred other prohibitions? In keeping the law they saw the way to God, and by emphasizing them they hoped to gain heaven. As they prohibited traveling on the Sabbath, even today, some of their teachers stone any car traveling on a Sabbath day. They believe that the awaited Christ will not come to earth and establish his kingdom of peace unless the people of the Old Testament keep the laws of the Sabbath without transgression.

In this way they misunderstood the love of God, refused the mercy of God, and hoped for salvation through their own works. They did not accept free redemption in Christ, and closed their ears to the invitation of the Holy Spirit. He confirms our inability to keep the law by ourselves, and reveals our corruption by his wonderful light. So let us resort to Christ’s grace and power, and never rely on our own righteousness.

The Pharisees who invited Jesus to a feast in the house of one of their rulers, were not yet filled with hatred toward their respected guest, but were willing to examine him, and watch him to see a wonderful miracle. Yet Christ saw their proud hearts, and asked them which was more important, the flowing of the power of God’s love to the world, or keeping the law in a selfish way to gain one’s own righteousness. The observers and the owner of the house became ashamed, for they still had the sense to perceive the importance of the love of God. They might have also felt the authority of Christ in his word, bowed their heads reverently, and said nothing.

Christ exposed their misunderstanding of Sabbath observance through by healing a man who was suffering from dropsy. Christ showed them that God delivers the poor regardless of the day, for in the New Testament each day became a day of grace. The love of God delivers us from holding fast to our righteousness, and consecrates us to the service of love willingly. Jesus took the man whose skin was swollen, for his heart and kidneys were unable to secrete water out of the body, and by his creative power, he cured the sick man whom no physician could cure, without any surgery, or suggestion, but with the word of his power. The currents of divine powers came out from the person of Christ until the patient was restored to health through his faith.

Christ cured the sick not only in body, but also in spirit. He showed them by human examples that they would rescue a son from a well, or pull an ass out of a pit. Every normal man, in his wits, would always be prepared to save those that are in need even on the Sabbath day. Our motive to serve and help others brings us near to the image of God, who helps, blesses, serves, and saves those who are going astray.

Examine yourself! Do you only meditate and pray on Sunday for yourself and for the growth of your knowledge, when your soul expands in an atmosphere of worship and hymns, or do you think practically how to help your disturbed brother man? Is the arrogant “I” your aim in life, or do you find in serving others the goal intended for your life? Christ purposes to convert your mind and renew your aspirations to reinforce his nature in your heart. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

PRAYER: O Lord, we thank you for your love, and worship because of your great redeeming power. Forgive our lack of love and selfish ambitions. Dedicate us to the spirit of service, and train us to serve others. Heal our friends that they may become healthy in body, soul, and spirit.

QUESTION 96: Why could the Pharisees not answer the incontrovertible evidences of Jesus?


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