Luke 14:3
And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
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(3) Unto the lawyers.—See Note on Matthew 22:35. The teaching of our Lord is identical in substance, and nearly so in form, with that in Luke 6:6-11, Matthew 12:9-14, Mark 3:1-6. Here, however, it will be noticed, our Lord takes the initiative in the controversy, whereas before the scribes and Pharisees had asked Him the question. Possibly some report of what had then passed had reached the ears of those who were now present, and caused them to be silent both before and after the question.

14:1-6 This Pharisee, as well as others, seems to have had an ill design in entertaining Jesus at his house. But our Lord would not be hindered from healing a man, though he knew a clamour would be raised at his doing it on the sabbath. It requires care to understand the proper connexion between piety and charity in observing the sabbath, and the distinction between works of real necessity and habits of self-indulgence. Wisdom from above, teaches patient perseverance in well-doing.Jesus, answering - To "answer," in the Scriptures, does not always imply, as among us, that anything had been said before. It means often merely to "begin" or to take up a subject, or, as here, to remark on the case that was present.

Is it lawful ... - He knew that they were watching him. If he healed the man at once, they would accuse him. He, therefore, proposed the question to them, and when it was asked, they could not say that it was not lawful.

3-6. (See on [1667]Mt 12:11, 12). See Poole on "Luke 14:1"

And Jesus answering, spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees,.... All the Oriental versions, for "lawyers", read "Scribes": these, with the Pharisees, were got together in a body, in their brother Pharisee's house, to watch the motions of Christ; who knew their designs upon him, and the thoughts of their hearts, and made answer to them, by putting the following question;

saying, is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? The occasion of the question was the object before him, whom Christ had a compassionate regard to, and determined to cure; but knowing that these men were catching at every thing, to traduce him, was desirous of having their sentiments first; not but that he knew full well, what was agreeable to the law of God, and what was not; and what also were the traditions of their elders, which they held, and which allowed of healing on the sabbath day, where life was in danger.

And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
Luke 14:3. ἀποκριθεὶς: Jesus addresses Himself to the double situation; on the one hand a sick man dumbly appealing for help, on the other jealous religionists aware of His free habit and expecting eccentric speech and action open to censure.—ἔξεστιν, etc.: first He asks a question as to the legality of Sabbatic healing in a tone which amounts to an affirmative assertion, allowed to pass uncontradicted (ἡσύχασαν); then He proceeds to answer His own question by healing the man (Luke 14:4), and finally He offers an apology for the act.

3. answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees] See on Luke 5:22. He took the initiative, and answered their unspoken thoughts.

Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?] We have already seen (Luke 6:1-11, Luke 13:11-17; comp. John 5:11; John 9:14), that these Sabbath disputes lay at the very centre of the Pharisaic hatred to him, because around the ordinance of the Sabbath they had concentrated the worst puerilities and formalisms of the Oral Law; and because the Sabbath had sunk from a religious ordinance into a national institution, the badge of their exclusiveness and pride. But this perfectly simple and transparent question at once defeated their views. If they said ‘It is not lawful’ they exposed themselves before the people to those varied and overwhelming refutations which they had already undergone (see on Luke 13:15). If they said ‘It is lawful’ then cecidit quaestio, and their plot had come to nothing.

Luke 14:3. Ἀποκριθεὶς, answering) to the thoughts of His adversaries.—νομικοὺς, lawyers) who, though the law was their profession, notwithstanding did not understand aright the law concerning the Sabbath.

Verse 3. - And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And the Heart-reader read their thoughts, and in a moment he saw all and understood all, and answered the unasked question of his host and the assembled guests by putting to them another query which went to the root of the whole were matter which they pondering in their evil hearts. Luke 14:3
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