January 22nd, 2017

He Took Hold of Him, He Healed Him,
and He Sent Him on His Way

Luke 14:1-6 (NASB)

It happened that when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching Him closely. And there in front of Him was a man suffering from dropsy. And Jesus answered and spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they kept silent. And He took hold of him and healed him, and sent him away. And 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?” And they could make no reply to this.

The only thing better than seeing Christ heal us is to see Him heal others. In fact, the evidence that He is actively healing me is the ability to rejoice at the healing He brings to others. In our text we have a man who is afflicted with “dropsy.” This disease is characterized by buildup of fluid in the tissues, causing a swollen body, especially the legs and eventually abdomen. It’s common among diabetics, quite painful, and in Jesus’ day, incurable. “There in front of Him was a man suffering from dropsy” – unable to move.

  1. Religious people are more interested in self-preservation than healing.
    Jesus goes to the house of “one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat” (v. 1). The man Jesus went with was “a leader” (influential), “a Pharisee” (spiritual), and “a friend” (hospitable). Jesus was a friend to sinners. Those who consider themselves influential, spiritual and hospitable are sinners too, but most in that category don’t think they are and can’t say, “I’m the chief of sinners.”
    1. They watched Jesus closely (v. 1). Their eyes weren’t on the man with dropsy; their eyes were on Jesus. Ironically, when they “turned their eyes on Jesus,” it wasn’t to trust Him, it was to trap Him.
    2. They remained silent when questioned (v. 4). The Pharisees, maybe even the leader of the Pharisees who invited Jesus to his house, were threatened by Jesus. All the people who looked to them, followed them, and thought highly of them, were now turning away from them and turning to Jesus Christ. “Never put your trust in something you may one day lose,” St. Augustine once said. Pharisees manipulated and controlled to not lose what gave them satisfaction (the praise of men).
    3. They missed the person in the room in need of healing (v. 6). God desires mercy, not sacrifice. God gives mercy to the sinner who can’t help himself (dropsy). The Pharisees only wanted blood.
  2. Jesus entered the room with several sick people and only one person left healed.
    The Pharisees would never have considered themselves sick. The man with dropsy was sick. They were fine. In fact, they were the ones with the answers. All they needed to do was trap this One who was taking away their power. Notice how Jesus responds to the self-righteous in this text.
    1. Jesus answered a question they never asked – “And Jesus answered…” (v. 3). Where is the question they asked? The Pharisees never asked a question. Jesus drills down to the real issue. I used to ask myself: “Why am I angry?” Because… “But why?” Keep drilling. Keep asking. Only Jesus has the power to answer a question never asked. I’ve got to keep asking the questions.
    2. Jesus gave a principle they never pondered – “Which of you?” (v. 5). “Which of you will not have a son of yours or ox that falls into a well and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath?”
      1. Until you see yourself as the problem, and not others, there will never be healing within you.
      2. Their trouble was because they thought Jesus was the problem, they never saw the real one. The self-righteous heard Jesus, could even quote Jesus, but never experienced Jesus.
  3. Jesus healed the man with dropsy in the same manner He heals each of us.
    “Jesus took hold of him and healed him, and sent him on his way.” (v. 4). There are three things here:
    1. Jesus took hold of him – a personal, intimate, touch. Not anyone else in the room – him.
    2. Jesus healed him – healed him of his powerlessness, his inabilities, and his weakness.
    3. Jesus sent him on his way – the evidence Christ has touched you is you go “on your way.” And to go on his way, he had to leave the house of the Pharisees. Let’s not remain there either.
      “He touched me, Oh He touched me, and oh the joy that floods my soul!
      Something happened and now I know, He touched me and made me whole.

You can view the video for this sermon HERE.