Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 14:3

And Jesus answered and spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Miracles;   Sabbath;   Thompson Chain Reference - Lawyers;   The Topic Concordance - Sabbath;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Miracles of Christ, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Miracle;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Courage;   Sabbath;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Heal, Health;   Miracle;   Sabbath;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Hospitality;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Lawyer;   Luke, Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Matthew, Gospel According to;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Cures;   Discourse;   Dropsy;   Imagination;   Israel, Israelite;   Lawyer ;   Liberty (2);   Logia;   Occupation (2);   Profaning, Profanity;   Questions and Answers;   Sabbath ;   Salvation;   Walk (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Lawyer;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Lawyer;   Sabbath;   Scribes;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

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.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-14.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath, or not?

Significantly, Jesus answered not the words of his watchers, but their thoughts. Like human vultures, those evil men were waiting for Jesus to fall into their trap; but he took it all in at a glance, snaring them with one of their own devices, a dilemma. If they said, "Yes," they had no case; if they said, "No," they would have spoken a lie. "The law did not condemn such acts of mercy; and they undoubtedly saw the point of the Master's question."[10]

ENDNOTE:

[10] Charles L. Childers, op. cit., p. 546.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

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.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-14.html. 1999.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

3. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

[Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?] A Jew will be ready to cavil against the truth of the evangelists upon the occasion of this and such like questions they report from our Saviour. What need had he (will such a one say) to ask this question, when he could not but know that, in danger of life, it was permitted them to do any thing towards the preservation of it. Nay, where there was no imminent danger, they were allowed to apply medicines, plasters, &c.; especially, which I must not omit, to apply leaven even in the time of Passover to a 'Gumretha,' some very burning distemper.

This is all true indeed; and this no doubt our Saviour understood well enough: but withal he could not but observe with how ill an eye they looked at him, and would not allow that in him which was lawful in another man. He was always accused for healing on the sabbath day, which whiles he did with a word speaking, he could not violate the sabbath so much as even their own canons permitted him: and wherefore then should they accuse him? In mere hatred to his person and actions. There are two little stories we meet with in places quoted before, which perhaps may serve in some measure to illustrate this matter.

"The grandchild of R. Joshua Ben Levi had some disease in his throat, There came one and mumbled to him in the name of Jesus the son of Pandira, and he was restored." Here we see the virtue and operation of Jesus not so utterly exploded, but they did allow of it.

"When R. Eliezer Ben Damah had been bitten with a serpent, and Jacobus Capharsamensis came in the name of Jesus the son of Pandira to heal him, R. Ismael forbade it." And so the sick man died.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-14.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Answering (αποκριτειςapokritheis). First aorist passive participle without the passive meaning. Jesus answered the thoughts of those mentioned in Luke 13:1. Here “lawyers and Pharisees” are treated as one class with one article (τουςtous) whereas in Luke 7:30 they are treated as two classes with separate articles.

Or not (η ουē ou). The dilemma forestalled any question by them.

They held their peace (ησυχασανhēsuchasan). Ingressive aorist active of old verb ησυχαζωhēsuchazō They became silent, more so than before.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-14.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

And Jesus answering, spake — Answering the thoughts which he saw rising in their hearts.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-14.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees1, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath, or not2?

  1. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees. Replying to their unspoken thoughts, in which they were assuming that he would heal the sick man.

  2. Saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath, or not? They evidently expected Jesus to act on the impulse, and were confused by his calm, deliberate question.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-14.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE SPIRIT OF SUNDAY OBSERVANCE

‘Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?’

Luke 14:3

It was at Capernaum that the controversy with our Lord about the Sabbath took place. What do we learn from our Lord’s teaching?

I. All the ceremonial prescription must give way to necessity.—When the disciples of the Lord were hungry, and plucked the ears of corn and rubbed them in their hands, and so broke the law from necessity, He commended what they did. And so, we know, then, that when there is a case of necessity, the ceremonial law may be broken. And it comes into our lives in this way—some one says: ‘If I do not keep my little shop open on Sunday, I shall starve.’ Very well, if it is a case of starvation, I won’t say a word against it. If a man were to say, ‘It is absolutely necessary for me to go right away on the Sunday’—if it is absolutely necessary, you may cover yourselves under your Master. But the question is, Is it absolutely necessary? The Lord certainly did tell us all prescriptive ceremonial must give way to necessity.

II. Prescriptive ceremonial must give way to service—God’s service.—And if this first law of the Lord was for the people, this is for God’s ministers, ‘The priests in the Temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless.’ They kept the law by breaking it. Their work was very arduous. So arduous was the priest’s work, that, month by month, he had to go and rest. And that covers God’s ministry. In most cases, the clergy have the hardest work to do upon the Sunday. We can cover ourselves under the law of our God and Master, and say, the priests who did God’s service were blameless.

III. All ceremonial observance must give way to mercy.—If you are coming to church, and, in some necessity of life, some poor soul calls you away, needing your help, you must not say: ‘If I help that poor chap, I shall miss church’; or, ‘I shall be late for church’ You must say: ‘No; mercy is greater than sacrifice.’ You had much better stop and do a little work of mercy, and miss church, even on Sunday.

IV. ‘The Sabbath was made for man.’—It was made, first of all, for the family; it was made for the nation, and now it is made for the whole world. He, the Son of Man, is Lord of the Day that He hath made, and that is the only reason why we have from our Lord the authority for keeping the Lord’s Day, His day.

We ought to be on the Sunday the Lord’s Day observers. That is as the Bible has indicated to us and the Church, and I tell you our one duty is to go to the Lord’s service on the Lord’s Day.

Rev. A. H. Stanton.

Illustration

‘In the French Revolution they wished to abolish it altogether, and the men in the time of the Revolution said: “Let us have seven days’ work and seven days’ pay,” and they had it; and now they have seven days’ work, but only six days’ pay. They have lost their day of rest, and long to get it back. It was made for them, and they destroyed it.’

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-14.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

Ver. 3. And Jesus answering] viz. Their thoughts, which were naked and open; naked (for the outside) and dissected, quartered, and, as it were, cleft through the backbone (for the inside), before him with whom they had to deal, Hebrews 4:13.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-14.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

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.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-14.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 14:1"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 14:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-14.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

законников Т.е. книжников. См. пояснение к 10:25.

позволительно ли Он неоднократно оправдывал исцеления в субботу, и Его доводы постоянно приводили в молчание противников (ср. 6:9, 10; 13:14-17). Здесь и в 6:9 Он заранее задал вопрос законникам о том, позволительно ли исцелять в субботу – и они все вместе не смогли привести никакого убедительного довода в подтверждение мнения, что исцеление было нарушением субботних законов (ср. ст. 6).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-14.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Answering; he replied to their thoughts by the question which he put to them.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-14.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And Jesus answering spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath, or not?”

Jesus ‘answers’ the lawyers and Pharisees. This may indicate His response to the man’s mute appeal, or it may signify that He recognised the unspoken question in the minds of the Pharisees who were watching Him. What follows may be seen as suggesting the latter, for, aware that He was being watched, Jesus turned to the Scribes and Pharisees who were present with a question. It was a very simple one, that nine times out of ten they would have dealt with very quickly. “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath, or not?”

Now if He had been a doctor their answer would have been immediate and clear. ‘Only in the case of a life-threatening illness.’ But He was not just a doctor. And none other could heal like He did. How did you say to such a person, ‘You cannot ask God to heal on the Sabbath, for God is not allowed to heal on the Sabbath.’ But nor were they willing to give Him permission. So they were in a quandary.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-14.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.Answering—Answering, perhaps, their silent evil eye.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-14.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 14:3. Answering, i.e., the thoughts of the Pharisees.

Is it lawful, etc.? This unexpected question evidently embarrassed them. If they answered yes, the occasion of finding fault was taken away; if no, they could be charged with want of compassion.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-14.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 14:3. : 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.— , 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 ( ); then He proceeds to answer His own question by healing the man (Luke 14:4), and finally He offers an apology for the act.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-14.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Is it lawful? Jesus knew their thoughts, and that they would blame him as a sabbath-breaker: yet he healed the man, and confounded them by the example and common practice of pulling an ass out of a pit on the sabbath-day. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Jesus. App-98.

unto. Greek. pros. App-104.

lawyers = doctors of the law.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-14.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(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.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
the lawyers
11:44,45
Is
6:9; 13:14-16; Matthew 12:10; Mark 3:4; John 7:23
Reciprocal: Matthew 22:35 - a lawyer;  Luke 6:6 - he;  Titus 3:13 - the lawyer

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-14.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3.Is it lawful to cure on Sabbath? The meaning of this question is, ought the curing of a man to be reckoned among the works which violate the Sabbath? If they had said that the observance of the Sabbath is violated in this way, the reply was obvious, that it is a work of God. Now the law of the Sabbath goes no farther, than that men shall rest from their own works. Christ first puts the question to them, and he does so for the purpose of guarding against offense. It would not have been necessary for him to pacify them, if they had not been instigated by hardened malice. Not that he always laid himself under this restriction; for in many cases he did what had been enjoined on him by the Father, without attending to the offense that might arise from it. But he intended to show by this example, that he did not inconsiderately perform miracles on Sabbath, because he was prepared to assign a reason for what he did. They, on the other hand, make it evident by their silence, that their desire of finding fault is stronger than their zeal for the law; and therefore Christ treats with utter indifference their opinion about his action, because it was evident that they intentionally sought out an occasion of offense.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-14.html. 1840-57.