Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Imagine taking your young child on a trip to the zoo. There are so many things to see, yet few of them will be seen by your child unless they receive your help. You scoop them up into your arms and point out the wonders of God’s creation. “Do you see the lion?” “Look in that tree, can you see the Koala?”
As children need to share the vision of their parents, human beings need the Holy Spirit and the word of God to enable us to see the truth. By keeping our eyes on Christ, our Savior, our example, and our Lord, we are able to see the purpose of God and all of His goodness and hopefully imitate Him as best we can.
However, many have watched Jesus, including the Pharisees, in this passage, not with a desire to understand and worship but with a desire to disqualify and destroy. The same Jesus, who is the only way to Heaven and the first love of a believer, is viewed by many others as an enemy and a threat to established power. When you watch Christ, what do you see?
1 And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.
2 And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
Dropsy is a term that includes many causes and degrees of paralysis. The man whom Jesus encountered had lost the ability to move his body. Physically, the demands of life were all far out of his reach. He was fully dependent on others to meet his daily needs. Spiritually speaking, we are all born in that condition. Because of the curse of humanity’s sin, we are powerless from the beginning to find our own way back to God. Our own sin increases our separation. Guilty of rebellion against the ruler of all Heaven and Earth, we are unable to satisfy any of our spiritual needs. Jesus once said, “The whole need not a physician, but the sick.” The statement contains a hidden truth, that none are whole, it is the recognition of sin sickness that enables us to humble ourselves and look to the grace of God.
Christians, as imitators of Christ, should do as He did. When we are able, we should never fail to help those who are hurting around us. We can’t do for them what Jesus did, but we can share our testimony and His word with them so that they can get to know Him for themselves.
3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
It’s a pointed question. The Pharisees do not have a Biblical answer to this question for a very good reason. They don’t have the ability to heal at all. There is no law condemning the healing of the sick because it wasn’t needed. Only God could do anything about a situation like the one the paralyzed man found himself in. Of course, a sick family member would be cared for on Sabbath day, and no one would consider that a violation of the law. Even animals who were hurt could be helped on the sabbath day as the law allowed. When Jesus confronted the hypocritical hearts of the religious leaders present, He alone had the power to restore the man before Him, and He alone had the power to save all who were present from their plaque of sin. Jesus is our sabbath, our rest, from the stain, consequences, and curse of sin.
4 And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;
5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
6 And they could not answer him again to these things.
Many times in the presence of God and His messengers, people in the Bible found themselves on their faces, unable to speak. The Pharisees can’t answer the question Jesus posed to them. They refuse to answer the question about the animals, knowing that the lawful answer would put them in an uncaring and hypocritical light. The wisdom of God made them aware of their lack of power and of the fact that Christ was not another in a long line of religious men but the One and only Son of God.
Not only could Jesus alone heal, He did so on the holiest day of the week, a day that was a gift to mankind in allowing them to contemplate and worship the God who loved them enough to construct a rescue plan long before the first Adam brought all of mankind into sin. Christ can heal those who surrender their lives, hearts, minds, bodies, and souls to Him.
2 Corinthians 5:19
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
I’m so grateful that the work of redemption is completed in Christ and that He never refuses to make whole those who seek Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!