SHAMING THE PHARISEES
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.
3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?
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.
one of the chief Pharisees
Again we see the disingenuous schemes of the Pharisees. The plotting to trap Him, the seeking to discredit Him, takes on many forms, devices, and schemes. Here, one of the Sanhedrin, who in a few days would be clamoring for His crucifixion, invites Jesus to dinner.
they watched Him
These Pharisees were watching Him with malice intent. They invited Him on the Sabbath, and they had added many rules to keeping the Sabbath, most of which were silly at best. Every movement and word spoken by Jesus was going to be evaluated according to their idea of ‘holiness’. Jesus knew this, and though they wanted to discredit Him, He was going to shame them.
The word for ‘dropsy’ is the Greek word, hudropikos (G5203), and refers to a disease of the body causing swelling due to excess water. This man was likely brought to the dinner, with the obvious ailment, so Jesus would be tempted to heal him. It worked, and Jesus did heal him. It was the Sabbath day, and no work was to be done on the Sabbath, not even so much as to light a candle, according to the Pharisees.
Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
The Pharisees had tried similar ‘Sabbath’ attacks on Jesus. What should have been considered ‘work’ here was their working to try to find something wrong with the Perfect Jesus. That was ‘work’ for He had no sin. Jesus saw ‘doing good’ to this man as kindness and love, not as work. The Pharisees were working hard to try to defile the Lord with a charge of breaking the Sabbath.
healed him, and let him go
The fact that the ‘healing’ allowed Jesus to ‘let him go’ shows that he was not there for dinner, only as a plant to be there, to see if Jesus would heal him. Once healed, the man did not sit down to dinner, rather, he left. This healing was seen, the swelling immediately went down. Jesus had asked if it were lawful to heal, to do good on the Sabbath, and they had no law against ‘doing good’, so their mouths were wide open in confusion, as to what to say, before the healing, and afterwards.
Jesus does not let it end here, for He continues to shame the Pharisees, showing them that their own rules on the Sabbath, allowed a man to remove an animal out of a pit, if on the Sabbath. People depended on oxen and donkeys to be beasts of burden on other days, so if one fell in a pit on the Sabbath, they allowed for removal. Jesus was pointing out their hypocritical stance, that the animal was more valuable than this sick man. This shamed them before all at and those viewing this dinner.
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?
They knew that Jesus had outsmarted them. They could not answer Him without revealing that they condoned more work on the sabbath than what Jesus had done in healing a man. Thus their hypocrisy was exposed to all. Some like to complain of the ‘mote’ or splinter in the eye of another, while their own eye has a ‘log’ in it.
Matthew 7:1-4 (KJV)
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Romans 2:1-3 (KJV)
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
In that time, the Pharisees served better meals than any other day, and made a show of these meals, inviting dignitaries, doing them in the open so those passing by could view. This alone showed their hypocrisy. They honored their stomachs, and their pride, more than God.
8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him;
9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee.
13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, He said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
Jesus sees this ‘pride’ and haughty spirit in the Pharisees, sees their injured pride with having viewers see their shame, their lack of answers to the wisdom of the Lord, and so Jesus speaks of ‘HUMILITY’. That was a subject the Pharisees knew little about.
When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him;
9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room
They had bidden the Lord to their dinner. Jesus speaks now to them being bidden to a fine wedding dinner. Jesus knew that these Pharisees, members of the Sanhedrin, would expect the best and most prominent seats. Jesus warns that they may not get the seats they desire and think they deserve.
People in that time and in that area, always were greatly concerned about positions of honor at their formal feasts. The "chief rooms" and "highest room" were the first couches where they reclined to eat. Jesus says that if they are prideful and walk to the best couch, in the best location, they may be asked to move, and this would bring shame. Jesus is pointing out that the shame they were feeling at that moment, due to their haughty attempt to shame Jesus, and having it back fire again on them, is their own fault. Their pride allowed them to be shamed.
If they would have humbled themselves before Jesus, He could have taught them much, and led them toward righteousness. Instead, their pride tripped them up, brought them shame, and made them move a step closer to the ultimate sin of seeking to crucify the One Who had gently rebuked them.
For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted
Self-exaltation is forbidden.
Obadiah 1:3-4 (KJV)
3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
4 Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.
Galatians 6:3 (KJV)
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
We see today, ministries with the minister’s name in huge print and their pictures all over the mailings. They exalt themselves, and claim that their ministry is more vital than any other. There are many examples of self exaltation in the Word of God. Lucifer’s main sin was pride and self exaltation. Korah exalted himself. Nebuchadnezzar built a huge golden statue of himself, and wanted all to worship it. Haman was incensed when Mordecai did not bow to him.
The moment we begin to exalt ourselves, we are headed for an abasement, a humbling. To avoid the humbling times, we need to ‘humble ourselves.’
James 4:10 (KJV)
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
also to him that bade him
Now Jesus speaks to the one who invited Him to this dinner. He knows the onlookers got the message about pride and self exaltation. Now, the Pharisee that invited him needs a personal word.
When thou makest a dinner or a supper ...
This one had invited Jesus, and others that were invited were the rich and powerful, who would feel then obligated to invite this man to their next great feast. Jesus says that this man should invite the poor, who could not recompense him, for they were in need. Yet, the fact of that need, means they would be blessed by the food and service given.
Some will be generous to a church, if they get to make a show of their gift, if their name is put on the building they donated the money for, if they are asked to stand for applause and recognition. If the ministry fails to do such things, they cease giving.
Repaying one another with recognition cancels out the recognition and blessings that God would have given.
Matthew 6:1 (KJV)
1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father Who is in heaven.
Matthew 10:40-42 (KJV)
40 He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.
41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just
The judgment seat of Christ where the saints will receive reward for all the good things they have done, is at the resurrection/rapture time.
Romans 14:10-12 (KJV)
10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV)
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
2 Corinthians 5:10 (KJV)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
MORE to come... stay tuned...