Summary: At the leading Pharisees house Jesus deals with legalism, honour/shame and who is invited to the feast of the kingdom of God

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oday's meal with Jesus is the last he has with a Pharisee - so it's fitting its a chief Pharisee. It doesn't go well for the Pharisee, but it does for a man with dropsy. Dropsy is the old-fashioned name for oedema - water retention in the body often caused by kidney failure or heart problems

skin discolouration, aching, tender limbs, stiff joints, weight gain or weight loss, raised blood pressure and pulse rate. He's going to get healed, we are going to see some cross-cultural stuff that Brits probably miss and we're going to get encouraged to invite everyone to the party. So ready to dive in?

Luke 14:1-24

When is it right to heal the sick?

Well what do you think?

What a silly question! But it wasn't to the religious leaders of Jesus' day.

They had taken the OT law - that which the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 7:12 is holy, good and righteous. They had taken that and added to it, making it not just impossible, but burdensome and impossible. So that Jesus had to come to fulfil it, the first and only one ever. And the die on the cross, so that when we put our faith in Him, we too have died to the law and are not under it, but under grace.

So these leaders had taken the law that Jesus summed up as Love God and Love your neighbour and forgotten love and compassion and made it a bad thing to heal someone on the Sabbath because that's work. They'll lift their ox or child out of a well, but lay a hand on someone's shoulder to heal them.

So when is it right to heal the sick? When you love God and your neighbour.

In Luke 9 Jesus gave the 12 authority to heal the sick and in Luke 11 he gave the 72 the same authority to heal the sick. His last words before ascending to the right hand of the Father were go and make disciples, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.

In John 14 Jesus told his followers that He must ascend to the right hand of the Father so that the Spirit could come and inhabit us so that we could do great works than He did - greater means more!

i) So we have Authority to heal the sick in Jesus name

ii) We have our identity as children of God, dearly loved by the Gather who fills us with love and compassion for others

iii) We have the power of the Spirit residing in us - the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.

When we read the red bits and the book of Acts, we find Jesus and his followers healing the sick whenever and wherever they find them and the challenge to go and do likewise.

I know that we haven't always seen people healed and I don't understand and there are passages I don't understand too. Anyone that has glib answers like not enough faith is just plain wrong at best and profoundly damaging too.

There are some things I know - God is love, God is good and some things I don't know - like why some don't get healed, this side of glory anyway. But I tell you what - what I do know helps me to make sense of the things I don't. The things I do know trump the things I don't and I am happy to let God be God!

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