Summary: A Dinner invatation given by one of the chief Pharisee to publicly humilate Jesus failed miserably
PLOTTING PLOTTERS PROVIDE PERSONAL PITFALLS
I. THE PLOT: LUKE 14:1, 2
II. THE PRAGMATISM: LUKE 14:3, 4
III. THE PETULANCE: LUKE 14:5, 6
Jesus is invited once more to come home with a Pharisee to eat a Sabbath meal with him. Jesus went and no doubt did eat something there. However, Luke devotes a good deal of this chapter (verses 1 to 24) to the messages that Jesus gave at the home of one of the chief Pharisees. It is probable that this learned man and his guests did not have any intention of hearing these messages from Jesus, but once inside the home, and seeing what was awaiting Him, the Master delivered some startling words of rebuke to those who had gathered there for one special reason-to try and trap Jesus in seeing if He would disobey the Law of Moses.
Luke does not reveal the name of this very important person, but it becomes apparent that this Pharisee was not interested in becoming a believer of Jesus; he just wanted to trap the Master to see if he could prove that Jesus was a fraud. This Pharisee knew he could not better Jesus in an open forum so he did the next “best” thing-invite Jesus to his home for a meal. Besides serving a meal to Jesus, this man invited a sick person to be in the house when Jesus arrived. Evidently, this Pharisee wanted to watch and see what Jesus would do on this sacred day.
In keeping with the times, it is highly likely that this Pharisee was rich or at least well to do, and he spared little expenses in preparing this meal for Jesus. If his heart really were intent on becoming a believer in Jesus, he would not have done what he did. From the context of the Scriptures, it appears that this Pharisee set a trap for Jesus and he actively plotted to embarrass Jesus or to prove Him to be a fraud. The opposite came to the forefront and Jesus proved that His host was the one who was a charlatan.
The entire parts of verses one through six, center on a man who was ill-he had the “dropsy.” This infirmity has since been given a medical name-edema. The condition arises in a person who is not able to discharge the water from one’s system in a normal manner. As a result, the body retains a lot of the bodily fluid and over a period of time, the swelling of the legs becomes evident making walking and standing very painful. Slowly, the weight of the excess bodily fluid weakens the internal organs especially the heart and the kidneys causing death-sometimes a painful death.
This was the condition of the man who was sitting inside this chief Pharisee’s home when Jesus arrived to eat with His new host. It appears that the poor man was situated in such a place in the home that it was impossible not to know of his presence. Jesus certainly saw this man and the rest of the guests did likewise. When Jesus entered the home, the trap was sprung and the self-righteous people waited to see what Jesus would do especially since this was a Sabbath. Would Jesus “work” on the Sabbath thus breaking the Law of Moses? Alternatively, would Jesus not help this man and thus prove that Jesus could not perform miracles as was being reported. With the scene set, the people waited and wondered.
As I look at these first six verses of Luke 14, I see three things. The first thing I notice is the PLOT, which was set by the antagonistic Pharisee. The next thing I notice is the PRAGMATISM of Jesus. Then, I see the PETULANCE of these ones who set out to embarrass Jesus and the results that followed.
I. THE PLOT: It had to be a sad day in the life of some people who set out to embarrass Jesus at the expense of an infirmed man. We do not know if the ill person was cognizant of what was about to unfold. What we do know from the Scriptures is that there was a foolish PLOT to snare Jesus and to prove to all that He was not who He claimed to be-the Son of God.
The first thing I note regarding this scheme is the fact that it was Premeditated. Why do devilish people design ways and methods to prove Jesus as being a charlatan? If this action was confined to the time of Jesus and not to His lifetime only the issue would have died a natural death. That is not the case. All through history, people have planed to supplant Jesus and to prove Him to be a fake, a charlatan, etc. Many have devised plans to prove their ideas as being better than the Master’s. History has verified that people have planned, schemed, and devised ways to overthrow Jesus and His teachings and have come shy of their goal. Just like the people in this story, they devised a plan; they thought about it for a good time. Yet, like so many devilish schemes and their Premeditated plans to destroy Jesus, all went awry.