Sunday, February 18, 2007



Jesus always brought excitement to a dinner party! He was always an interesting guest, because He was very proactive in reaching out to the untouchables of society. He seems to wait for just the right situation, like healing someone on the Sabbath or interacting with a woman who was a sinner.

One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. NOTE Jesus was being watched very carefully. He was always under scrutiny. The wording here could be taken to mean they were lying in wait to trip Him up or to catch Him in some inaccuracy. Instead of putting Jesus on the examination table, the tables were turned on the Pharisees. They were the ones being examined.

There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?" But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.
One of those attending the meal in the Pharisee’s home is a man who is suffering from an abnormal accumulation of fluid in his body and therefore was swelling up. This was symptomatic of something more serious than a mere swelling problem. The Mosaic Law itself doesn't prohibit healing on the Sabbath, but the rabbinical traditions do.

It’s interesting to note the wording here. Once Jesus had taken hold of the man, He healed him and “sent him on his way.” This is the same wording as when Jesus healed the woman who was crippled…also on the Sabbath. It says there that He released her. That, I believe, is what is happening here. Jesus wasn’t sending this man away, but providing for him a powerful release from his bondage.

Again, Jesus uses common sense to respond to their shock of His Sabbath healing: Then he asked them, "If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?" And they had nothing to say.

Then Jesus offers another parable. This time it has to do with how the Pharisaic community was striving for seats of honor. NOTE what Jesus says: When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this person your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.

Jesus summarizes what He is saying here: For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

Jesus now turns the attention toward another social issue that is affected by kingdom principles: Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Here’s what He is saying. If you do something for a person, expecting something good in return, then you will not be blessed. However, if you invite people to a dinner where no one invited could possibly return this good gesture back to you, for that invitation you will be blessed. Jesus says that we ought to extend ourselves toward those who cannot possibly repay. This is the way of the kingdom. And, you will be blessed. Your repayment will come through at a future date, when Jesus comes back to resurrect us all.

The bottom-line? Jesus moves to the beat of a different drummer and expects those who follow Him to do the same. I recently was given a hint on how to walk, talk, think and love like Jesus. Here it is: Once you’ve decided to do something in a certain way, do the opposite from what you would naturally do and you’ll most likely be walking with Jesus. Jesus is walking to a different drummer than the world. It’s the beat of the kingdom. And He wants you and me to walk alongside Him, moving to that same beat.