A Man with Dropsy Healed on the Sabbath

A man had a terribly lengthy surgery. It was expensive and the results weren’t very promising. He went to his doctor for the post-op visit, and the doc said, “Well, I have some sad news for you.. You’re not going to live more than six months.” And the man says, “ … More



It was the Sabbath day and Jesus was invited, after the weekly synagogue service, to eat at the house of a prominent Pharisee (v. 1). It might seem surprising for Jesus to go to a Pharisee’s house after He had denounced them so many times. It appears that this Pharisee invited Jesus to his home specifically to trap Him into saying or doing something for which He could be arrested. A man suffering from dropsy (swollen legs) had also been invited (v. 2). No doubt this had all been arranged in order to get Jesus to violate the Pharisees’ rules concerning the keeping of the Sabbath. However, Jesus would not be hindered from healing a man, though He knew an issue would be raised at His doing it on the Sabbath.

Jesus immediately took the initiative and asked the host and other guests if it would be lawful to heal this man on the Sabbath (v. 3). If they had answered “Yes”, they would not be able to condemn Jesus for healing. If they had answered “No” they would have condemned themselves as having no compassion for human suffering. As they did on several occasions, they evaded the issue and said nothing. If it was illegal they should have said so. Jesus healed the man (v. 4). Christ’s question placed this healing in its proper perspective of rendering help when necessary.

Luke the physician is the only gospel writer to record this healing. Jesus knew all  about this legalistic crowd. He knew that on the Sabbath day they would deliver their farm animals from danger (vv. 5-6), so why not permit Him to deliver this man who was suffering from great physical pain. He was actually accusing them of saying their animals were more important than people.


It is tragic that some people even today have more love for their pets than they do for a lost world. It is sad that more money is spent in America on dog food than on missions. It is very important for me to know where missions is on my priority list.

Luke 14:1-6 (English Standard Version)

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