Are you having some opportunities to go to parties and gatherings with your friends this season?
It’s such a festive time of year and even though we may complain about the hustle and bustle, if we aren’t going to at least a few events we can feel like we are missing out, right?
I am noticing that Jesus got invited to a lot of social gatherings too, but today’s passage has him as the guest in the home of someone who was more interested in setting Him up than in making Him feel welcome.
“One Sabbath, when He went in to eat at the house of one of the leading Pharisees, they were watching Him closely.
There in front of Him was a man whose body was swollen with fluid.
In response, Jesus asked the law experts and the Pharisees, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?’
But they kept silent.
He took the man, healed him, and sent him away.
And to them, He said, ‘Which of you whose son or ox falls into a well, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?’
They had no answer to these things.Luke 14:1-6 CSB
I find it interesting that a man who needs healing just happens to be in front of Him at this Sabbath dinner in the home of a prominent religious leader.
I also note that Jesus doesn’t just heal, but sandwiches the healing in between two questions that reveal He knows the minds and hearts of the host and his guests.
This passage makes me think of people who have expressed dread over gathering with certain relatives this Christmas because their faith and devotion to Christ are not welcome.
While I don’t think we should enter into family get-togethers spoiling for a fight, I do believe we can look at this passage and see that Jesus was neither threatened by the confrontations He would face nor was He hesitant to do the right thing.
He didn’t avoid going to the Pharisee’s home and He used every opportunity to explain what the kingdom of God looks like.
The attendees seem to have sparked the conversation and Jesus did not back down or make excuses or default to nervous small talk or polite deference.
He didn’t do a slow simmer and then burst out with some tirade of self-defense.
He went into the Pharisee’s home, confident that He was where He was supposed to be and looking for what God had for Him to do at that moment.
And like He always did, He acted in obedience by taking one faithful step after another – not scheming or plotting, but just trusting His Father to give direction and then acting out of His desire to do only what God told Him to do.
How did He know what that would be?
Remember what we have read repeatedly throughout the book of Luke so far…He went off regularly to quiet places to pray.
Before we enter in to the various gatherings that will present themselves to us this season, let us continually be spending much time alone with God.
Reading His Word, meditating on what it says and then prayerfully seeking Him on how to live that out in this Christmas season of 2019.
This is how we walk the journey faithfully.
One obedient step at a time <3