I Imagine that the thinking and correlation to my writing along with the name of the article came from the images that are in my mind about love! Besides, how can I write about Jesus and immediately not correlate Him to love? It was Valentine’s day two days ago and the world tells us that we have to be in the mood of love! Therefore, we are to buy the candy, the chocolate, the jewelry and diamonds! The most expensive and exuberant the gift, the most impact it will bring to your loved ones. They will feel love!
Did you find yourself caught up in the moment? I tell myself that expressions of love should be done everyday and in different ways not just through chocolate, gifts or pretty words! There are many ways we love and it should not always be in a fuzzy way. As a matter of fact, for me, I would like to lose some weight, therefore, loving me right now is supporting me and not giving me chocolate! I don’t find anything wrong with dedicating a day for love but of course companies take advantage and we fall for it.
Love! What is love anyway? We have many definitions of love and some forms are totally erroneous for they do not carry the best outcome on others. I think the clean and pure way is the way Jesus showed us! It was not always pretty, sensible or politically correct. He has always had our best intentions in mind! Not His, but ours! The scripture today seems to me a repetition of what we already covered in Luke 13:10-17. I wanted to just overpass it and move forward but I decided that if it is here twice is because it needs to be and I have no right to ignore it. Yes, Jesus is healing on the Sabbath again, but why?
It was a beautiful Sabbath day! Jesus had been teaching the crowds the previous days. They were coming in great numbers! Jesus, the healer, was in town! The pharisees had been watching Him closely and His teachings were burning their hearts for they did not agree with Him! They refused to believe that this man had anything to offer! He was just a carpenter! He had no formal theological education! What did he know anyway?
He was just disturbing the peace! Misrepresenting God! A blasphemous man who was portraying Himself as a part of God! Did He not know that He was hanging out with sinners? He was touching them! going out into the fields and teaching them instead of studying the Torah in the temple as it should be! There was no order of who He was with! Woman, men, children. They were all together!
This man was certainly not of God! He was not following the “traditions” “the Law” They had to get Him somehow. They had tried to stop him the previous day by telling Him that Herod was after Him but He would not listen! Well, today was another day. They would catch Him on the law and destroy Him! They just had to outsmart Him! They would invite Him over to break bread on the Sabbath and studied Him closely, after all, you have to keep your enemies close by to destroy them!
I wonder how the man with dropsy got there. Did he missed yesterday’s teachings? Maybe he couldn’t get close enough to Jesus or maybe he was invited by the pharisees? In any case, here he was in the pharisees house. Jesus should not have been working. After all, He was going to be spending time with some important people, the leaders of the law! He was going to be breaking bread with them on the Sabbath! Perhaps He should have spent that time trying to convince the pharisees of their erroneous ways and move their thoughts to God’s truth, but then again, this is exactly what He did only not merely by words but by example!
As Jesus went into the pharisees house, there in front of Him was a man who had dropsy, Who knows, what he had dropsy from? Dropsy is fluid collected in the tissues. Medically we call it edema. It can be caused by many main medical conditions such as failure from heart, liver, kidney etc. My main point is that edema or dropsy is not the main condition. Jesus healed this man from something much greater than what they eye could see.
As Jesus saw the man, He paused and had mercy! Love for this man! He could feel his pain! He wasn’t going to let the pharisees dictate how to handle His responses to this man’s affliction. He knew the pharisees were seeking to trap him and He knew they were going to be successful but that did not matter. He was here for a purpose and no fear of physical pain or death would stop Him from fulfilling it! He was willing to provide a cure and to offer a cure not only to the man but also to the pharisees.
He said to the pharisees and the lawyers “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” They could not respond! Jesus took a hold of him! How? did He hold him? did He touch him? did He hold his hand? All we are told is that “He took a hold of him and healed him and sent him away”
He said to them: “Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day? they remained silent. We are not told of what kind of response the man had or if the man came in to seek for healing that day! We do know that Jesus had love for him and for us as He was trying to tell us that our traditions and ideas of worship are not what God wants for us. It is our heart what He is interested in.
Yes, The Sabbath is part of the ten commandments and we are to keep it, but Jesus said it was made for us! On Mark 2:27 He said:”The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath” God gave us a day where we could pray, worship Him, focus on His word, commute with others, rest. This is what recharge us and give us fuel to keep us going and grounded.
When we use it as ammunition or to delineate a salvation format, make it a ritual, and forgo the most important aspect, which is love, it doesn’t do us any good. Rituals for the sake of rituals are empty and are our own egotistic form of relying on our own for salvation. Rituals should have a place only if guided by love! Our love for God and our love for humanity! God has always made this clear, starting with His walk with the Israelites.
There are many references in the Bible where He called for their love and not their sacrifices! one verse we can bring out is in the book of Hosea 6:6 “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” Friend, as we seek to worship God, Let us always perform a self-evaluation of the formats we use and why. Those formats can be in the way of busyness, good works, ritualistic worship, proper attire, etc. Let us always have in mind that what God wants from us is our hearts and once we give Him our hearts, He will give us guidance on how to proceed.