Wednesday, March 6 | Luke 14:1-6

David Koenig

After reading this passage, I was reminded of Jesus’ godliness and loving acceptance of those around Him. While sharing the Sabbath meal with prominent Pharisees, knowing he is not one of them, knowing they disagree on much, he still shows them his love through his godly example. The passage states that he is being carefully ‘watched,’ as I imagine he was often, as others were trying to figure out who this man was. But in this scenario, it sounds as though he is being scrutinized as there seems to be a ‘trap’ set for him; the trap being the suffering guest (dropsy as described in another text). Was this afflicted man invited to test Jesus’ adherence to God’s law?

None of the other guests speak of the suffering guest, again watching to see what Jesus will do. Finally, Jesus asks “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” Heal, not work, as working on the Sabbath would break God’s commandment. The Pharisees say nothing, again watching what Jesus will do. Jesus heals the man, without fanfare, simply healing him and sending him on his way.

Then Jesus, answering his own unanswered question with another question, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath, will you not immediately pull it out?” I do not think Jesus was expecting an answer to this question. Of course, they would help, and Jesus knows this. But an answer of ‘no’ would imply that the Pharisees were cruel, even inhumane. An answer of ‘yes’ would be to admit breaking God’s commandment and exposing the test they were giving Jesus. Jesus is playing along: being the polite guest, not shaming them for their obvious scrutiny, teaching a lesson without being critical, and acknowledging their innate goodness.

David Koenig has been attending Trinity Cathedral for several years and enjoys serving as an usher. He is a long-time employee of BNY Mellon.

Find all Lenten Devotionals from Trinity Cathedral here.