One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. 2 And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy.3 And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” 4 But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. 5 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?” 6 And they could not reply to these things.
As Jesus went about in his ministry the Pharisees grew in their distrust of him and would often do things to test him against their own standards. However, Jesus was never caught off-guard, he always knew of their hypocrisy so he would take moments like this one in Luke 14 to openly reveal their hypocrisy. In this case they have set Jesus up by seeing if he would heal someone on the Sabbath day. Despite their trickery Jesus asks them is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath. Their silence proved that they had been trapped by their own deception. They knew that to answer no would make them look callous, unmerciful, and uncaring, but to say yes would allow Jesus the freedom to break the Sabbath, at least from their perspective. Jesus presses their hypocrisy by pointing out that would they not help their son or even their ox out of a well if they had fallen in, even on the Sabbath. This must have cut deep into their heart for they must have known that they would not have been so ridged with the “law” if it came down to rescuing their son from a well on the Sabbath. However, even though their hypocrisy was exposed it did not cause them to repent of their sin, they only became more stiff-necked and wanted to kill Jesus even more. What about you? What happens in your heart when the Word of God exposes your own hypocrisy? What happens when the Spirit of God convicts you of your own hypocrisy? Will you stiffen your neck and in pride attempt to justify your actions? Or, will you realize your sin, confess it and receive the forgiveness from our great gracious and merciful Father. I trust as you examine your own heart for hypocrisy that you will turn to him, be forgiven and live at rest in his righteousness.