Luke 7

7:1 When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum [large city located on northwestern shore of Sea of Galilee].

7:2 There a centurion’s [Roman military office in charge of 100 men] servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick [“paralyzed and in terrible suffering” as per Matt. 8:6] and about to die.

7:3 The centurion heard of Jesus [likely had heard of Jesus’ healing power] and sent some elders [dealing with centurion’s messengers same as dealing with the centurion] of the Jews to him, asking [centurion’s request indicates he believed Jesus had the power to heal his servant] him to come and heal his servant.

7:4 When they [“elders of the Jews” (7:3)] came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly [shows how much they appreciated and respected the centurion] with him, “This man deserves to have you do this,

7:5 because he loves our nation and has built [probably provided financial support; indicates the centurion’s interest in the worship of God] our synagogue.”

7:6 So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house [Jews not allowed to enter homes of Gentiles] when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord [shows centurion’s respect for Jesus], don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.

7:7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word [Jesus did not need medicines or rituals or even to be present in order to heal], and my servant will be healed.

7:8 For I myself am a man under authority [centurion understood what it meant to obey others as well as to be obeyed by those under his command], with soldiers under me. I tell this one [Roman soldiers were trained to obey orders unquestioningly], ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

7:9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed [cf. Mk. 6:6 where Jesus was “amazed” at the lack of faith of the Jews] at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith [cf. the “great faith” of the Canaanite woman whose daughter Jesus delivered from demon-possession (at a distance as in the case of the centurion’s servant); cf. Jn. 4:46-54 re: Jesus healing the son of a royal official at a distance] even in Israel.”

7:10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well [“his servant was healed at that very hour” (Matt. 8:13)].

7:11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain [located about 25 miles from Capernaum], and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him.

7:12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person [the Jews buried their dead on the same day (Deut. 21:23; Acts 5:5-10)] was being carried out [funeral procession heading for burial ground]—the only son [Jesus too, was an “only Son” (Jn. 3:16)] of his mother, and she was a widow [one of the most vulnerable members of society]. And a large crowd [relatives of the dead person, hired mourners, bystanders] from the town was with her.

7:13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he [the “man of sorrows” (Isa. 53:3); Jesus could identify with the widow’s suffering] said, “Don’t cry [a difficult request under the circumstances].”

7:14 Then he went up and touched [would result in ceremonial defilement according to the law (cf. Num. 19:11-22)] the coffin [death is “the last enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26); probably an open stretcher], and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”

7:15 The dead man [note two evidences of life…] [1] sat up and [2] began to talk [we are not told what the man said], and Jesus gave him back to his mother [cf. 1 Kings 17:23 re: Elijah bringing the widow of Zarephath’s only son back to life].

7:16 They [those present who witnessed this miracle] were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet [cf. Deut. 18:15; Jn. 1:21; Acts 3:22-23] has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.”

7:17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea [throughout “the land of the Jews”] and the surrounding country.



7:18 John’s disciples told him [John was in prison (Lk. 3:19-20)] about all these things [the things Jesus was doing and saying]. Calling two of them,

7:19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who was to come [the promised Messiah], or should we expect someone else?”

Note: Other spiritual leaders who had periods of doubt and uncertainty include…
• Moses Numbers 11:10-15
• Elijah 1 Kings 19
• Jeremiah Jeremiah 20:7-9,14-18
• Paul 2 Corinthians 1:8-9

7:20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who was to come [the promised Messiah], or should we expect someone else?’ “

7:21 At that very time Jesus [note the credentials (observable deeds) that Jesus offered to John’s disciples…] cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind [cf. Isa. 29:18-19; 35:4-6; 42:1-7; 61:1].

7:22 So he replied to the messengers [John’s disciples], “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.

7:23 Blessed is the man who does not fall away [offended] on account of me.”

7:24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak [what Jesus thinks of us is more important than what others think or say about us] to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed [weak and vulnerable to the wind; suggests an individual without backbone or moral fiber] swayed by the wind [cf. Eph. 4:14]?

7:25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No [cf. Matt. 3:4 re: John’s attire], those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces.

7:26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more [because of his key role in introducing the Messiah (cf. Jn. 1:15)] than a prophet [John was the last of the OT prophets].

7:27 This is the one about whom it is written [John was a prophet whose ministry was prophesied]: ” ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way [this expression anticipates the arrival of a king] before you [cf. Isa. 40:3; Mal. 31].’

7:28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John [the forerunner of the Messiah]; yet the one [believer] who is least in the kingdom of God is greater [not in character or ministry, but in being children of the King whom John introduced] than he.”

7:29 (All the people [the crowds], even the tax collectors [hated and ostracized members of society], when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right [agreed with what God said about them (cf. Ps. 51:4)], because they had been baptized [proof of their repentance] by John.

7:30 But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John [they rejected John and his message].)

7:31 “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation [those who had rejected John the Baptist and Jesus]? What are they like?

7:32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace [the place where the town’s business was conducted, usually centrally located in a community] and calling out to each other [the children called their friends to join them at play; note two extremes…]: “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance [the children invited others to play “wedding” but their invitation to play was ignored]; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry [the children invited others to play “funeral” but their invitation to play was ignored].’

7:33 [note two extremes in 7:33-34…] [1] For John the Baptist came neither eating bread [John fasted] nor drinking wine [John was an ascetic], and you say, ‘He has a demon.’

7:34 [2] The Son of Man [Jesus] came eating and drinking [Jesus interacted with others and enjoyed life], and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘ [7:33-34 illustrate that some were so stubborn that they refused to listen to either John or Jesus]

7:35 But wisdom [personified as a woman (cf. Prov. 1:20; 4:6; 7:4; 8:1)] is proved right [justified] by all her children [the followers of Jesus and John who lived changed lives (their lives affirmed the validity of what Jesus and John taught)].”

7:36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table [customary way to sit at a formal meal].

7:37 When a woman [do not confuse this event with the one involving Mary of Bethany (Jn. 12:1-8); do not confuse this woman with Mary Magdalene (Lk. 8:2; Mk. 16:9)] [text does not specify her sins; she obviously had a bad reputation] in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar [an expensive and beautiful carved jar] of perfume,

7:38 and as she stood behind [those who “reclined at the table” sat with their feet stretched behind them] him at his feet weeping [evidence that she was a repentant sinner], she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

7:39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself [these words were not spoken aloud], “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner [it is always easier to look at others and to say that they are sinners, rather than to admit that we are sinners].”

7:40 Jesus answered him [indicates Jesus knew what Simon had been thinking to himself (7:39)], “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.

7:41 “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender [creditor]. One owed him five hundred denarii [a denarius was a day’s wage for a laborer], and the other fifty.

7:42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back [a difficult and vulnerable position to be in (cf. Matt. 18:21-35)], so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

7:43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

7:44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see [Simon saw her past; Jesus saw her future] this woman? I came into your house [notice three courtesies that Simon neglected to extend to Jesus…]. [1] You did not give me any water for my feet [washing the feet of guests was the job of a slave], but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

7:45 [2] You did not give me a kiss, but this woman [the woman did what Simon neglected to do], from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.

7:46 [3] You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.

7:47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much [cf. Gal. 5:6b]. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

7:48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

7:49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins [Pharisees believed that God alone could forgive sins]?”

7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith [not her tears or her gift but rather her total trust in Jesus as the only one who could forgive her sins and save her; cf. Eph. 2:8-9] has saved you; go in peace [cf. Rom. 5:1].”

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