Thursday, October 28, 2010


1. The religionists watched Jesus with critical eyes. The word watched (‘parateroumenoi’) means to observe with a sinister purpose: to look for something wrong, to search for the incorrect, and to watch for error. It means to look with critical and cynical eyes.

2. The man with dropsy was not an invited guest; he just appeared on the scene, we are not sure whether he appeared on his own or the Pharisees made use of him to trap Jesus. In either case, a real failure of the religionists is seen. They did not see the need of the man.

3. The law had its meticulous regulations about Sabbath meals. Of course no food could be cooked on the Sabbath; that would have been to work. All food had to be cooked on the Friday; and if it was necessary to keep it hot, it must be kept hot in such a way that it was not cooked any more. So it is laid down that food to be kept warm for the Sabbath must not be put into ‘oil dregs, manure, salt, chalk or sand, whether moist or dry, nor into straw, grape-skins, flock or vegetables, if these are damp, though it may be if they are dry. It may be, however, put into clothes, amid fruits, pigeons’ feathers and flax tow. No wonder why Pharisees found difficult to understand Jesus.

4. Jesus knew it was the Sabbath, the day when the Jews allowed no work whatsoever. He saw a unique opportunity to teach a much needed truth: the truth that healing and helping a needy man is much more important than religious form and ceremony, than religious ritual and rules.

5. The illustration by Jesus was powerful. A man would set aside his religious rule to help his oxen out of a ditch. His oxen or personal property was quickly put before his religious rule. When it comes to the question of a person in need, we start talking about laws and regulations.

Jesus proves to the Pharisees that they are not really consistent in following the Sabbath laws. They become flexible with the laws when it concerns their personal property. Their purpose of questioning Jesus was not to have a clear perspective about laws but to find fault with Jesus. Once we decide to see something bad in people, we will certainly see only bad in them, for the simple reason the ‘badness’ exists in our eyes. I remember studying about theory of perception, called ‘Self fulfilling prophecy’. The theory states, we approach a person with an idea he/she is nervous; somehow our behavior with that particular person will be different due to our prejudice. Our strange behavior with that person makes him/her a bit nervous. Then we say to ourselves, that our perception about the other was correct.

The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible
William Barclay the New Daily Study Bible

No comments:

Post a Comment