One Sabbath Jesus had gone to eat a meal in the house of a leading Pharisee, and he was carefully watched. In front of him was a man suffering from dropsy; so Jesus asked the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But no one answered. Jesus then took the man, healed him, and sent him away. And he said to them, “If your lamb or your ox falls into a well on a Sabbath day, who among you doesn’t hurry to pull it out?” And they could not answer.
We feel uneasy when we are watched. Our movements become stilted and our words guarded. We are not free. Jesus feels the same way too, probably right here in this Gospel. Yet He did not allow this feeling to overpower His love for those who are needy. He would not be constrained by others’ careful watching. He will do what is the right thing to do even if others do not approve. And so, Jesus has to disappoint again His self-appointed guardians. He tried to expand their horizons by freeing them from the confines of their legalistic frame of mind. He has better luck with the man afflicted by dropsy. The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees are cases very hard to cure.
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