Wednesday, March 4, 2015

On the Way to Dinner

Jesus would eat with anyone.  He healed Simon's mother-in-law and then ate her food.  He ate with Levi, a tax collector, whom He called to be a disciple.  He ate with a few folks and a crowd of five thousand.  He ate with Pharisees and lawyers.  He ate with friends like Martha and Mary.  Luke 14 tells us of another dinner invitation from a leader of the Pharisees; however, on this occasion the theological fireworks started happening before the food even made it to the table.
As they were walking the road, going to the home of the leader of the Pharisees, there appeared in front of them a man with dropsy.  Only Luke, the physician, would be so specific about the man's illness.  No doubt the sick traveler saw the group of lawyers and Pharisees dressed in name brand robes and wearing the aura of self righteous superiority and started moving to the side of the road so he would not be in their way.   Since they had never been any help in the past, he saw no reason to expect anything from them, then or later.  As he had always done, he simply tried to blend into the background where no whispered words about his suffering being the result of his sin would touch his ears. 

He likely did not notice that a stranger was walking with those self-righteous appearing ones, but even if he had, he would have assumed the stranger was one of them.  But, the stranger was Jesus.  And, unlike the Pharisees and the lawyers with whom He walked, Jesus had the compassion of God in His heart and a good dose of common sense in His head.  Neither would allow Him to ignore a hurting sufferer simply because it happened to be a certain day of the week.  What happened there on the road that day is not limited by time or space.  Even as the struggling to live traveler became a man healed and full of strength for the rest of the journey, so can it be for us as we stand before the Christ with our own weakness and our own need. 

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