Ever have those times when you got caught red handed in a situation and you had nothing to say? I have had a number of instances in my life where I promised to do something and failed to carry it out yet and was questioned by the person to whom I made the promise. I had nothing to say. I was silenced by my failure. How else could I respond?
Jesus is eating at the home of a Pharisee. There is a very sick man in attendance. Here is the encounter:
One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.
5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child[a] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6 And they had nothing to say.
Pharisees like to impose rules, usually ones they have made up, on others. They often pounced on Jesus with criticism if He healed someone on the Sabbath because they considered it work. Notice before He heals, Jesus asked them if it was legal to do so. They remained silent. How could they look the hurting man in the face and say no? Following the healing, Jesus asked them if they were in a situation the required them to take action to help one of their children or care for one of their animals if they would act on the Sabbath. And they had nothing to say. Caught red-handed.
Isn't it interesting that we can be like the Pharisees and ramp up our religious fervor toward others about things that don't matter when we would do something similar if it benefited us? Jesus was focused on people. They were focused on rules. Jesus was acting for the benefit of others. They were promoting themselves. It is also interesting that He goes on to teach about humbling yourself as opposed to seeking honor.
Lord, help us to see where we are red-handed today, to humble ourselves and remain silent. Amen.