Podcast Reflections

Reflection on Luke 14.1-6 (2022 Week 30)

Listen to a reflection for Friday 28 October 2022 on Luke 14.1-6

Luke 14.1-6

On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.

Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, ‘Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?’ But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. Then he said to them, ‘If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?’ And they could not reply to this.


And they could not reply to this.

In today’s reading we are witnessing, once again, the controversy of what should or should not be done on the sabbath. There is no doubt that the sabbath is important, but is its observance so important that the opportunity to share God’s love and compassion must be put on hold for one day of every week?

In Genesis we read of God’s resting on the seventh day, while in the ten commandments we receive God’s instruction that the sabbath should be kept as holy. In fact, Moses goes further than that when he says: Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy sabbath of solemn rest to the Lord; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. When looked at from this point of view it is not difficult to see how the conflict arose between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders.

The important issue for us, as followers of Jesus Christ, is to remember that Jesus’ message was new. Jesus’ message turned the accepted norms of first century Jewish life on their head. Jesus’ message was one of change … never an easy message for human beings to hear!

Instead of slavishly following the religious rules and regulations, Jesus is encouraging us to adopt a different way of looking at our daily responsibilities. Jesus is encouraging us to put ‘love’ at the very centre of all we say and think and do … love of God and love of neighbour. Jesus emphasizes this message when he asks: If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day? If we would do this for our own children and our own livestock, should we not be prepared to do the same for all of the children of God?

Let us pray that we might follow the teachings and the laws of God, but tempered with the love and compassion demonstrated by Jesus himself. Let us pray that we might not become so bogged down in matters of common practice that we forget Jesus’ overriding teaching of love for all. Let us pray that we might never act in a way that leaves us silent when asked why we have distanced ourselves from Jesus’ call to love.