Making the Impossible Easy: Luke 14:1-6

Focus Passage: Luke 14:1-6 (GW)

On a day of rest—a holy day Jesus went to eat at the home of a prominent Pharisee. The guests were watching Jesus very closely.

A man whose body was swollen with fluid was there. Jesus reacted by asking the Pharisees and the experts in Moses’ Teachings, “Is it right to heal on the day of rest—a holy day, or not?” But they didn’t say a thing.

So Jesus took hold of the man, healed him, and sent him away. Jesus asked them, “If your son or your ox falls into a well on a day of rest—a holy day, wouldn’t you pull him out immediately?” They couldn’t argue with him about this.

Read Luke 14:1-6 in context and/or in other translations on!

Often the details surrounding an event are just as interesting as what actually happened.

For example, as I was reading the passage for this journal entry, a question entered my head that wasn’t directly answered in the passage in the first place: “Why was there a sick man at this Pharisee’s home?”

The sick person could have been a family member or close friend, but if this were the case, the Pharisee would have directly asked Jesus to heal the sick man. However, Jesus instead asks the first question, making me think that Jesus is more interested in directing the conversation towards healing the man.

If the sick person was not a family member or close friend, this event could have been a setup. The passage does say the guests were watching Jesus very closely. This definitely suggests a setup.  The day of rest, the high profile, highly opinionated guests, and the significant location all suggest that the events in this passage are staged.

As a staged event, we can see that these Pharisees saw Jesus as a healer, and it would seem that even doctors were not exempt from resting on the day of worship (i.e. the Sabbath day). Pretty much anything Jesus “did” that resulted in a healing would have immediately been classified as work, regardless of the effort it took or the number of calories it consumed.

But while the question regarding whether it was right to heal someone on the Sabbath is left hanging in the air, Jesus simply heals the man like the action is no big deal. It is so understated in this passage that if a Pharisee present had been looking away briefly, he could have missed it.

Perhaps these Pharisees had seen other miracles Jesus did, or maybe they had just heard rumors and wanted to see for themselves. Either way, the action present behind this healing was probably a letdown because it was so understated.

After the healed man left, Jesus compares the action to pulling your son or your ox out of a well. Pulling someone out of a well probably would take enough energy to break a sweat, and one or more people involved in pulling an ox from a well would definitely burn plenty of calories. However, Jesus performs this healing without even coming close to “breaking a sweat”. How Jesus performed the miracles were way too simple – Jesus made the impossible look easy.

This brings me to the big idea for this journal entry: Don’t be disappointed if God’s life-changing miracles come through simple methods. God may prefer the simple, clear miracle over the complex, confusing series of steps that our mind often thinks we need.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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