On this day, the Pharisees were threatened by a man who wanted to be healed on the Sabbath; for if Jesus were to grant such a request He would openly contradict their teaching just by doing the healing. He would not have to say anything. As if that was not bad enough, Jesus silenced them in front of everybody by uttering a simple "one liner" hypothetical question: "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?" St. Luke goes on to tell us, "And they could not answer him again to these things." Simply by having the power to heal, and by using that power, Jesus won the argument. We know from Mark's Gospel that it was at this point that some of these same Pharisees either joined the effort, or maybe even started the effort, to have Jesus put to death. Matthew tells us that when the time finally came that Jesus was tried by Pilate, the Roman Governor knew that not only the Pharisees, but also the chief priests and Sadducees, wanted Jesus dead because of their envy (Matt. 27:18).
This knowledge of the Truth, of Jesus Christ the Word who is eternally with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and who has been made flesh and dwelt among us, gives us knowledge of all truth. When we understand the truth as it is revealed fully in Jesus Christ, we know the truth about ourselves, and first of all, that we are sinners utterly in need of His salvation from sin and death. We begin by knowing we are lost, and we need Him to take us home; that we are blind and need Him to open our eyes to see; that we are deaf and need Him to open our ears to hear. We need forgiveness of sin, but cannot buy or earn it; the Healer must give us mercy just as he gave it to the man with the dropsy-the same mercy that does not deal with us as our sins deserve.