One Sabbath Jesus was invited to dinner with some lawyers, Pharisees and others. All of the guests had their eyes on him, watching every move he made and scrutinizing what He said.
Right before him there was a man hugely swollen in his joints.
So Jesus addressed the lawyers and Pharisees,
“Is it permitted to heal on the Sabbath? Yes or no?” They were silent. So he took the man, healed him, and sent him on his way. Then he said, “Is there anyone here who, if a child or animal fell down a well, wouldn’t rush to pull him out immediately, not asking whether or not it was the Sabbath?” They were stumped. There was nothing they could say to that.Luke 14:1-3 4-6
John Ortberg says in his book Who is This Man?,
“It was one of the most awkward dinner party’s of all time….It was the Sabbath. In that Jewish society, no medical treatment was to be offered on the Sabbath unless someone’s life was in jeopardy. If Jesus had been an affable guest, he would have pretended not to notice the man. But Jesus was not affable. He called everyone’s attention to the man.”
Before healing the unsightly man, Jesus first asks a highly sensitive question,
“Is it legal to heal on the Sabbath?” Nothing but silence… AWKWARD…!!
Jesus then reaches out touches the man and heals him totally to the amazement of all in the room. He sends the man away and again addresses the lawyers and Pharisees asking yet another highly sensitive question to highly sensitive people. And then 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.Luke 14:5-6
Again, there was another very long awkward silence!
Where are we today when it comes to healing, touching, delivering those in bondages in the midst of our rapidly growing “non-touch” society?
Are we stuck on our religious rituals so much that we can’t get out of our comfort zone when someone needs a touch from Jesus?
I’m thinking without the help of Jesus, we will always avoid awkward!
They invited Him to dinner and were intent on studying and finding out more about him. They recognized He was no ordinary man but they were also wanting to entrap him.
The lawyers, Pharisees and Sadducees were highly respected men in their communities.
But I believe Jesus was watching them as well. He didn’t want to condemn them, for he knew what they were up to. His heart was intent on setting them free from their self-righteousness and pride. Even though he knew they would reject him, his desire was for them to know He was “their beloved Messiah.”
We must ask ourselves the question constantly, who am I following?
Jesus is alive and well today. He continues to make some dinner parties awkward and uncomfortable. He plays no favorites between the homeless, the low, middle, upper classes and even the global elites. He knows what we are all up to, even when we try to hide our troubles, weaknesses, and even our wicked thoughts.
But He also still gives grace to the humble, strength to the feeble, feeds the poor, visits those in jail and sets sinner free from sin, and Satan.
As His ambassadors He will set us up to be right in the middle of awkward situations where He wants us to reach out and touch someone.
Like Jesus we are being watched and scrutinized. Will there be enough evidence to convict us for being a disciple of Jesus?
Jesus redeems the sinner and makes their newfound internal and eternal condition outshine self-righteous and judgmental hypocrites.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.John 3:16-17
When we get invited into places and parties where there are touching opportunities, let’s have fun even in the midst of awkwardness!
Reach out and lovingly touch someone.
Take the next steps to freedom and follow the crumbs home!
You are one of God’s Treasures,
Marlene, Writer, Counselor, Mentor
Cinderella Released Ministries
Learn to live, laugh and love after crisis & trauma!