Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?

One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” And they could not reply to these things.

Dropsy is an acute disease that presents itself in swollen parts of the body due to an accumulation of fluid - Jesus would have been able to have seen that the man before him suffered from it. I think that, since the man departed after he was healed, it is reasonable to assume that the man was planted there to test Jesus in order to bring an accusation against him. Using a sick man is a sad commentary about the lengths this religious ruler would go.

What sort of competitive jealousy must have existed in this Pharisaical ruler to use a sick person in this perverted fashion? Was not this religious leader called by God to help such people? I wish that this passage was singular in history. Sadly people still use the poor and the hurting to achieve perverted goals. It is as if love had never entered their hearts. Thankfully Jesus would not be dissuaded. The compassion of Christ always trumps religious perversion.

Let compassion reign in me today Lord.


  1. Hi Bob,

    I had never considered the idea of about the man having dropsy being "a plant", but it certainly makes sense in the context of the story! That Jesus sent him home afterwards is telling as well. As he was no longer present, he could no longer be used as a pawn by the Pharisees in this confrontation between them and the Lord. I wonder what happened to that man and his family. I hope I'll meet him in Heaven! :)

    1. I sometimes wonder about that crownring. Will some that are healed physically miss heaven? Hard to say for sure.


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