Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant
7 After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.
Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son
Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
Messengers from John the Baptist
The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written,
“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.’
I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)
“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,
“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’
For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”
A Sinful Woman Forgiven
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Luke 7 Commentary
by Hank Workman
How many tears do you have to shed to wash someone’s feet?
Luke 7 records several stories of Jesus from a remarkable Roman Centurion demonstrating faith to John the Baptist questioning to a story of a woman who broke into a gathering of the religious hierarchy where Jesus sat and washed his feet with perfume and tears. The scandal was right before these hypocritical teachers eyes as they became incensed to a sinner touching Jesus.
The religious leaders already had their noses bent out of shape. Tax collectors were the scum of the earth and these were the ones who had first heard John’s message, then followed up with Jesus and were completely transformed. Simply consider, these were the people who were the biggest fans of Jesus and followed Him. The hated embraced Jesus and His words while the religious leaders rejected it to the core.
These self-righteous men who should have known better wanted to live life the way they had created it. They justified their behavior and refused to listen to Jesus’ new teachings. Jesus exposed their hypocrisy over and over again and the interrupted dinner scene was not only a scandal but an exposure.
The woman was a known sinner. She was probably a girl who got around, a lot. Everyone knew her and her reputation so not only would the interruption of the meal had been a hard pill to swallow – it being her was completely off the charts. Breaking the alabaster jar of perfume and pouring it on Jesus feet, her love for Jesus overcame her emotions as she wept and wiped his feet with the perfume and her tears.
But it is here Luke records a very tactful observation in contrasting the Pharisees to sinners. And the sinners come out way ahead. The owner of the house and host of the party, Simon had made several social errors even in disrespect to Jesus. To us it would seem like not a huge deal but to Jesus it really would have been a slap to His face to not be treated with respect.
Simon had not even had Jesus’ feet washed down when he entered the house. This was a very common expected thing even. He also did not offer oils to clean up from Jesus’ journey and never greeted him with a kiss as He entered, which was absolutely done at every gathering and meeting someone, in particular at a dinner party. Simon had completely blew Jesus off.
It shows the heart of Simon who possibly had poor motives from the beginning and truly had zero respect. More than likely he felt he was way above this man named Jesus. The known woman on the other hand by contrast had tears flowing, sacrificed expensive perfume and kisses of her Savior who had reached into the wreckage of her life and saved her.
It was a grateful prostitute and not a holier than thou religious leader who was put on display whose sins were forgiven. And because of this, as Luke records, “she loved much” (Luke 7:47)
It’s a natural response to love someone deeply who has given much to us. Spiritually speaking it is an abounding love we have as a natural response to forgiveness and consequence of our faith in Jesus. Yet only those who truly realize the depth of our sin and the wild grace and forgiveness Jesus has given that this love will resonate.
Stop and consider of who you once were and where Jesus has led you? Reflect upon the life He’s even saved you from that has been radically changed and altered by His own love being lavished upon you while you were so lost. Do you love Him much? Are you willing to sacrifice what is of value and even what others think of you to show such love toward the Rescuer of your soul?
Luke 7 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
We see a very powerful indicator of the faith that this centurion soldier had in the way he addressed Jesus. The Gentile calls him “Lord.”
Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof; 7 for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.Luke 7:6-7 NASB
The centurion addresses Jesus as a Savior with the power to heal. In this chapter alone, and more than any other in Luke thus far, we see people start to reveal who they believe Jesus to be. Here are some examples…
John the Baptist & His Disciples
When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?'”Luke 7:20 NASB
I believe John had great faith, but he wanted to hear it from the horse’s mouth. He needed assurance. John and his disciples were trying to figure out who this man really was. They knew who “The One” was but was Jesus that man? With so many unexpected twists and turns thus far, they had logical reason to wonder.
Simon the Pharisee
And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.”Luke 7:40 NASB
Simon the Pharisee reveals who he thinks Jesus is by addressing him as “Teacher.” This was common with the Pharisees, seeing Jesus only as a teacher and nothing more. They were blinded to his supernatural nature.
Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!”Luke 7:16 NASB
“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’Luke 7:34 NASB
Jesus seemed to have an up and down relationship with the crowds that followed Him. They addressed Him as a “great prophet,” or “a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Many of them recognized His power, but missed His Lordship. Many others recognized His social causes, but again, missed His Lordship. They believed He was from God, but hung around for the show. Once he started making tough statements, many were content to walk away.
So, right here in chapter 7 of Luke, you have many different observations of who Jesus was. What has changed today? Not much, honestly. Some people have lots of questions for Jesus. They want the proof that verifies who He really is. Some say He was only a great man, or teacher. Some say that yes, He was a great prophet, but not the Son of God. Still others put the complete emphasis on His social ministry, ignoring the tough phrases about suffering and eternal punishment.
But then there are those rare Roman centurions who truly address Him as Lord. To those, He is their Savior, the Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End. Here’s the kicker. Jesus knows your heart just like He knew the centurion’s. He will know those who truly profess His Lordship from their heart and those who are just tagging along for the show. Who do you say Jesus is? Where are you in this story?