(3) And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? (4) And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; (5) And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? (6) And they could not answer him again to these things.
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It is interesting to notice that, in reality, Christ is always in control. Here Jesus takes the initiative to direct the argument to provide Him the opportunity to teach the truth and glorify God. He asks the question first, not the Pharisees. As had happened before, His questions are so clearly and cleverly stated that His adversaries find themselves unable to answer. They cannot answer Him truthfully, or even at all, for fear that they will condemn themselves for what they are—unloving, self-seeking hypocrites (Luke 14:6). Being publically silenced and humiliated only irritates them more, and so they anxiously wait for another opportunity (Matthew 12:14).
The wisdom from above that Jesus exhibits is obvious (James 3:17), and His approach, straightforward. He opens the subject for discussion Himself, anticipates any and all objections from His antagonists, and with a simple direct question, appeals to their conscience, love, and professed beliefs (Luke 14:3). Overmatched, “they [can] not answer Him regarding these things” (verse 6).
Whenever people reject Christ, as these Pharisees and lawyers do, they have trouble knowing and recognizing the obvious in important areas of life, especially the spiritual area. Today, many people like this demonstrate an inability to answer simple but important questions like, for instance, “Where do we find true fulfillment in life?” This shows the great need in our society for people to accept Jesus Christ, not more legislation or other government programs.
— Martin G. Collins
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