Running With Mark 41

Day Forty-One – February 7, 2020  


Luke 14:1-6 New Revised Standard Version

Jesus had been invited for a meal at the home of a prominent Pharisee.  Jesus likely had been teaching in the Pharisee’s synagogue. 


Why would a Pharisee invite him for a meal when Jesus had been quite critical of them? There isn’t enough context here to ascertain with any certainty the Pharisee’s motive. 

  • He may have been genuinely interested in knowing Jesus
  • He may have invited Jesus for a meal because that was custom
  • He may have invited Jesus because Jesus was “being carefully watched” LK 14:1


A man was there who had a condition called Dropsy.  Today we might call it Edema.  Edema is swelling in the soft tissues of the body. Excess water accumulates in the tissues.  Depending on the severity, edema can be very painful.


Jesus asks the Pharisees if it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath, but they won’t answer.  Jewish teaching was that whatever one could do before the Sabbath, should not be done on the Sabbath.  Exceptions were made for life-saving procedures.  Other medical treatments on the Sabbath were debated.[1]


Jesus healed the man and sent him on his way.  Then he questions the Pharisees.  If a child or an ox fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you immediately get them out?  Pharisees did try to help their animals out of pits on the Sabbath.

Baby Jessica

You may recall the story of “Baby Jessica” from 1987.  Jessica, who was 18 months old at the time, fell into a well casing that was 8 inches wide and 22 feet deep, in the backyard of her aunt in Midland, Texas.  The nation was captivated as an all-out effort was made to rescue the toddler who had become stuck in the well.  No one ever questioned whether they should keep working on the Sabbath.  It took rescue workers 56 hours to free her.

In 2010, a massive cave-in caused 33 Chilean miners became trapped 2300 feet underground and 3 miles from the mine’s entrance.  The world watched and prayed for 69 days until the miners were finally rescued. 


Two closing thoughts:

  • The Pharisees got stuck on carrying out the letter of the law, and often missed the spirit and intent behind the law. We can be that way too.  Social media has made it very easy to comment, attack, or to be a Pharisee online.  Pay attention today to your own tendency to judge or critique others.  Even if we agree with 90% of what someone writes or says, we’ll still go after and point out the 10% where we disagree, or where someone was in error.  Sometimes it is necessary to point out an error or disagreement, but often we do it so that we can feel better about ourselves and our beliefs.  There are no prefect people, organizations, churches, families, neighborhoods or workplaces, especially when we are a part of them! 
  • The rescue workers in both of these stories reminds me of the tenacity of God in seeking and going to any length to save us.



You’ve Got a Friend in Me –  from Toy Story

Lord I Lift Your Name on High –  Trey Mclaughlin and SOZ



Prayer Focus:

Talk with God about your propensity to judge and critique others.


Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins

[1] NIV, CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS STUDY BIBLE: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture. Place of publication not identified: ZONDERVAN, 2017.p.1776