By Rev. Eric Brown
“They were watching [Jesus] carefully.” – Luke 14:1
It was a trap. A cruel and mean trap. They had invited Jesus to Sabbath dinner, not because they wanted Him to enjoy Himself, not because they wanted to spend time with Him, but to trap Him. They were watching Him carefully to see if they could catch Him in a mistake and then crow about how terrible He was. They even went so far as to bait this trap by dangling a terribly ill man in front of Jesus.
Now, none of this bothers Jesus. Jesus does what Jesus does; He shows love and heals the man. He shows love and teaches the Pharisees, even after they go all awkwardly silent and want to ignore Him. Jesus remains the loving Lamb of God sent to take away the sins of the world, even the sins of those Pharisees were plotting against Him.
What are you looking to see when you look at Jesus? What are you hoping to find when you ponder His Word? Something to prove how you are right and the other people are wrong and bad? There are times we want to weaponize the Scriptures and use them against people – but taking the Pharisee’s approach isn’t the point.
What the Scriptures really show is the real Jesus Christ, your Savior, who sees you at your lowest, your sin-filled-est, and yet in His mercy He would care for you and forgive you, washing you clean in Holy Baptism. He sees you in your humble estate and say to you, “Friend, come up higher” as He calls you to His feast in His own Supper. Jesus isn’t out to get you, even though we all would deserve anything He threw our way. Instead, Jesus looks upon you with favor to give you His peace.
Rev. Eric Brown is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Herscher, Illinois and the co-host of the HT Gospeled Boldly Podcast.