And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
The word dropsy that is used in this verse was a physical condition that caused a person to retain water. Physically that is most often caused by the heart or a renal condition although there can be numerous reasons for the problem. For sure this is something that you would want to see a physician for without delay.
Spiritually speaking dropsy can be a picture of spiritual greed. Spiritual greed is when we are constantly thirsting for more and more spiritual knowledge and accomplishments so that we can climb the spiritual ladder and become recognized as the great one. This is what the Bible was referring to in 2 Timothy 3:5, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” Always learning and accomplishing and yet the power of God never being allowed to change my heart. Instead of all this spiritual knowledge producing a champion for the mistreated and abused, the poor and neglected, the afflicted and old, it instead produces a person interested in building their kingdom and allowing them to live a high life style, both naturally and spiritually.
Jesus entered this Pharisees’ home for the express purpose of teaching that the Sabbath Day is for the purpose of healing us of our high minded pride and greed and it is not for the purpose of us climbing up another rung on the spiritual ladder. That’s why Jesus goes on immediately after this to teach about how we are to take the low seat when we are invited to a wedding and we are to wait there until Jesus invites us up to a higher place.
It is no wonder that our church age is described in the Book of Revelations as lukewarm. We have a form of godliness but refuse to allow the power of God to heal our pride and greed, even inside the church walls.