“THE SABBATH SAVIOR”
Saint Luke 14. 1-11
17th Sunday after Trinity: 22 September Anno Domini 2013
Fr. Jay Watson SSP
In The Name + of Jesus
It’s all about eating bread with Jesus. It’s all about Jesus giving you The Bread of Heaven to eat. It’s all about resting in the Meal of His Mercy.
The Lord goes in to eat bread in the house of a Pharisee. The Lord eats with this sinner. The same Lord comes to this house today to eat with you Pharisees and sinners.
The Lord is the meal. The Lord is the Sabbath. The seventh day for the Jews, the Sabbath, was just that, the seventh and last day of the sequential, day-after-day “week.” It was special because in the Old Testament, the Exodus of the Israelites under Moses, God commanded that His people rest on this day. But the rest, the Sabbath, was not for God’s sake but for His peoples benefit. Yes, they needed physical surcease from labors and chores, but even more so, they needed to rest spiritually in the Peace and recuperation that only The Giver could provide. Every Sabbath day for the ancient Hebrews was but a “type,” an arrow pointing to the Rest of the Righteous Redeemer—to Christ The Rest for all weary sinners!
The enemies of Christ knew none of this because they rejected Him. Instead of resting in and with Him, they “watched Him.” Luther says that they watched Him because they thought they had Him trapped in a “no-win” dilemma. Much like the situation in the question about paying taxes to Caesar, the Pharisees and Lawyers thought that the Nazarene would either break their narrow and twisted interpretation of Sabbath inactivity, or, that He would be seen as unmerciful and callous.
Note well that the man with dropsy didn’t ask to be healed on the Sabbath; he simply was there in the presence of The Christ. Truth faith does not “watch” but receives what the Giver gives. This poor blighter with udropikus (hydro-pikus) dangerous, debilitating, crippling excess of water, simply worships the Lord by being drawn to Him—believing, teaching, and confessing that God is good and is Man-enfleshed.
The Lord heals when and where He chooses. He saves His own lost lambs and none will be able to thwart His rescue and restoration.
Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day? Is it good with God to work on a resting day?
Again, to rest on a day that the Lord has designated is not to refrain from all physical activity but to refrain from work of sustenance and livelihood in order to acknowledge—hold by faith—that all mammon comes from the Lord. In fact, in the desert wilderness, the Israelites were permitted to gather twice the normal provision of Manna on Friday so that they would not need to forage for food on Saturday. He Who gives Bread from heaven gives all that is needed.
Jesus works on the Sabbath to bring rest to the man with dropsy. Jesus does all the work and brings all the respite. You are supposed to work, you are supposed to DO all that the two tablets demand: Love God and Love your neighbor. You are always supposed to heal your neighbor’s plight regardless of the day or hour. Jesus shows that for the Children of Israel the Law—the Third Commandment may have been “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” but that now in the New Testament of His Body and Blood, you Christians do better to remember that the Old Testament Israelites are no more; that commandment (lone among the 10) has been supplanted and improved (as Dr. Luther translates it) as simply “Sanctify the Holy Day.” You are to make holy, i.e. separate, apart, specially designated, “holy” the Lord’s day! And this is the day that the Lord has made…as is Monday and Tuesday and Friday and the others, including Saturday. The day is holy, every day is holy not in refraining from painting a fence or mowing the lawn, but rather in loving God and loving your neighbor. You are to do good; to do right. And when you don’t, Jesus does!
The Pharisees “held their peace” they were silent. They withheld their love and they would not believe. Jesus always is speaking truth and justice because He is THE WORD, and He is PEACE incarnate giving peace by forgiving and healing.
The Christ worked for thirty-three years of Law Keeping so that you can rest in His achievement of perfection and receive all the Bread of credit and nourishment. Jesus worked for six bloody torturous hours on the tree so that you can rest in shadow of His outstretched pierced arms. Jesus gave His Body and shed His Blood, and then rested on Saturday, the Sabbath day, in the grave of death so that you can now rest everyday In Him. You are Baptized and thus at rest. You are absolved and thus at rest. You are reclining at Table with Him and thus at rest. Jesus is your Sabbath.
“For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased and He that humbleth Himself shall be exalted.”
The Lord humbled Himself in suffering and death, in rejection, humiliation, and pain—and the grave itself—so that you and all fellow sufferers of dropsy would be forgiven, healed, and exalted with Him on His Throne. Cured from the excess of brackish, foul, sewer water of dropsy, you are now bathed in the Holy Water of your Baptismal and Eucharistic Sabbath—Christ Jesus.
In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost