Luke 14:6

ESV And they could not reply to these things.
NIV And they had nothing to say.
NASB And they could offer no reply to this.
CSB They could find no answer to these things.
NLT Again they could not answer.
KJV And they could not answer him again to these things.
NKJV And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

What does Luke 14:6 mean?

Jesus is dining with a significant Jewish leader: a Pharisee who obeys the extra-biblical Oral Law. A man with debilitating swelling happens to be in the room. Jesus asks His hosts and the other guests, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?" They refuse to answer. To disagree would reveal their hard hearts. To agree would reveal their hypocrisy (Luke 14:1–4).

Of course, Jesus heals the man and reveals their hypocrisy, anyway, pointing out that if they would pull an ox or their son out of a well on the Sabbath, why shouldn't He heal a man (Luke 14:4–5)? Now the Pharisees are silent for another reason. Jesus is right and they know it: they have nothing to say in their defense.

The text doesn't say how the man with dropsy showed up. At formal dinners, the doors were left open for passers-by to enter, stand against the walls of the room, and listen in on the conversation. He may have been from the crowd that was following Jesus (Luke 14:25). On the other hand, the host may have invited him, knowing Jesus would not give up a chance to heal him.

After Jesus healed a man with a withered hand, Luke writes, "But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus" (Luke 6:11). After Jesus heals an invalid on the Sabbath, John says, "And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath" (John 5:16).

The Pharisees want to goad Jesus into breaking the law badly enough that they can justify His death. So far, however, they've only managed to get Him to break their rabbinical rules. Shortly before the crucifixion, they will try to get Him to commit sedition against Caesar (Luke 20:19–26). In the end, they accuse Jesus of the spurious crimes of declaring Himself king (Luke 23:1–5)—a capital offense.
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