Motive Driven Invitations
Verse 1 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, He was being carefully watched.
We have been talking about the different miracles that were performed by Jesus and the various reasons and methods He used to do them. Today gives us yet another situation and motive.
Jesus had been invited for dinner on the Sabbath. This was a deliberate act from the host who was a Pharisee. Jesus was being set up and He knew it. It was too coincidental that He was invited on the Sabbath and that this man – who was dealing with what was likely water retention due to who knows what ailment – “just happened” to be sitting in front of Him. He knew that the Pharisees were most interested in if He would heal on the Sabbath as they would see this as breaking the law of the Sabbath and therefore making Him a mere man that had a sinful heart.
This man with the ailment may have been surprised by the invite as well. He may not have known that he was invited as the plant to trip up Jesus, in fact, he may never have fully understood the real reason he was there as after Jesus healed him, He sent him on his way.
Let’s pause a moment and think about the man who was healed. He was invited to this prominent man’s home for a Sabbath meal. He may have heard of Jesus and suddenly finds himself being sat right in front of Him. He may have hoped for healing but he knew his condition was different than the healing of a blind person. A blind person’s eyes could surely be easier to heal than a condition that affected the tissues of the body. He may not have seen himself as a candidate of healing. But Jesus saw him, beyond the exterior trappings of his illness and saw all that he could be. Having mercy on the man physically, Jesus heals him. Having mercy on him emotionally, Jesus sends him on his way before addressing the Pharisee and his heart issues.
Jesus could have let it go with healing the man on the Sabbath to show that He was fulfilling the purpose of the Sabbath but Jesus wasn’t willing to let the moment for a lesson pass. He points out that He knows the host had chosen the ill man for the host’s purpose instead of the man himself. The Pharisee had shown his sinful heart by his plan. The man was just a pawn in the Pharisees’ game of trying to trap Jesus. But Jesus won the battle of motives. And the healed man was the one rejoicing.
Making It Personal
Have you ever questioned something that God said not to do in His commandments? Why is seeing the law through Jesus’ eyes so important? Where does your motive of obeying the law need to change?
Making It Personal Kids
Does Jesus want you to help people only on certain days? Would you want Jesus to help you no matter what day of the week it was? How does Jesus want you to use Sundays?
Father, thank You for this reminder to check ourselves and our motives in obedience to the law and our giving aid to others. Give us eyes to see the truth behind Your law and help us lovingly see others needs in light of how You have enabled us to help them. In Jesus’ name, amen.