A Centurion’s Servant Is Healed
Verse 1 – Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum.
Verse 2 – And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die.
It is recorded that this centurion loved the nation and had built the synagogue, even though he was a Roman official.
Verse 3 – So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant.
Matthew records that the centurion went himself for the benefit of showing his faith to the Jews. However, Luke’s audience that he wrote to, were Gentiles, and he wanted to show a good relationship between Jewish elders and the Roman centurion.
Verse 4 – And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was worthy,
Verse 5 – “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”
Verse 6 – Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friend’s to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof.
Verse 7 – “Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.
Verse 8 – “For I also am a man placed under authority, having 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.
This centurion recognized Jesus power to heal and His authority to do so from wherever He was.
Verse 9 – When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”
The centurion’s faith was amazing because he was a Gentile and had not been brought up in the ways of God. We can’t always assume when telling others about Christ, that they understand and know how loving our God is. We have to tell them, but above all, show them with our actions.
Verse 10 – And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.
A Widow’s Son Is Raised
Verse 11 – Now it happened, the day after that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd.
Verse 12 – And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of this mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her.
Nain was about six miles south of Nazareth. Jesus, with His disciples, met a funeral procession for a window’s only son. I think Luke mention’s that she is a widow because he wants his readers to know, now she will not have any financial support. She would more than likely resort to begging for food.
Verse 13 – When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
Verse 14 – Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
By custom Jewish funerals had open coffins, but anyone who touched the corpse became ceremonially unclean. This is the first of several times that Jesus raised a person from the dead.
Verse 15 – And he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.
Verse 16 – Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and “God has visited His people.”
This dead man did not earn his second chance at life, and neither do we earn our new life in Christ. This is a perfect example of being “dead” in our sin, and being “raised” to life in Christ Jesus.
Verse 17 – And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.
Verse 18 – Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning these things.
Verse 19 – And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
At this time, John was in prison. He asked this question out of confusion, not doubt. On one hand, Jesus acted as the Messiah should have, but on the other, He did not free all the righteous prisoners and overturn the Roman government. So John sent the disciples to ask for sure, “Are You the One?”
Verse 20 – When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ”
Verse 21 – And that very hour He cured many people of their infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many who were blind He gave sight.
Verse 22 – Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.
We might think it odd that Jesus kept healing after John’s disciple’s came to Him with a question, but Jesus wanted them to be an eyewitness to these things. When they returned to John and was able to tell him first-hand what they had seen, John would have his answer.
Verse 23 – “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
Jesus responded in a way that John would understand. Blessed are those who gladly receive the miracles of Jesus the Christ.
Verse 24 – When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
Verse 25 – “But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in king’s courts.
Verse 26 – “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.
Verse 27 – “This is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’
Verse 28 – “For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
John was the last to function like the Old Testament prophets and the last to prepare the people for the coming Messiah.
Verse 29 – And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John.
Verse 30 – But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.
All those who had repented and been baptized by John, acknowledged God’s way of righteousness. But the Pharisees and lawyer’s who would not repent and humble themselves and refused to be baptized by John, rejected God’s plan of salvation.
Jesus Criticizes His Generation
Verse 31 – And the Lord said, “To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like?
Verse 32 – “They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another saying: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not weep.’
Verse 33 – “For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’
Verse 34 – “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
Verse 35 – “But wisdom is justified by all her children.”
Jesus declared that it was impossible to please the people of his generation. John the Baptist had a very strict lifestyle, but was accused of having a demon. Jesus was accused of living a loose lifestyle by eating with sinners and was called a glutton and a drunkard. Jesus called them hypocrites.
A Woman Anoint’s Jesus’ Feet
Verse 36 – Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisees house, and sat down to eat.
Verse 37 – And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisees house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil,
Verse 38 – and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with her hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with fragrant oil.
This woman was an uninvited guest. By her example, it showed a huge honor and gratitude toward Jesus. She had evidently heard His teaching and it had affected her deeply, enough to entered this Pharisees house uninvited.
Verse 39 – Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
In other words: “If Jesus was truly a prophet, He would know the character of this woman, and would be repelled by her.”
Verse 40 – And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he said, “Teacher, say it.”
This Pharisee is not Simon Peter. There are several Simon’s in the New Testament, which was a very common name.
Verse 41 – “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
Verse 42 – “And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
Verse 43 – Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.”
Has Jesus forgiven us much? How do we show our gratitude? Are we kind to others, not thinking we are better than them? Do you compare yourself with others because you haven’t been as sinful? Sin is sin, anyway you look at it. One is not greater than the other. Our lesser sin does not make us more of a Christian than the murderer who also has God’s forgiveness.
Verse 44 – Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.
Verse 45 – “You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in.
Verse 46 – “You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.
Verse 47 – “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
It was customary when a guest entered a house, that they would be greeted with a kiss on the cheek and water in which to wash their feet. They wore sandals and their feet were dusty from the road. Jesus received neither from this Pharisee.
This was a perfect opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate a sincere heart of repentance. The Pharisee thought he was too good to wash Jesus feet or greet Him with a kiss, and that neither was his sin great. Those who think their sin is not as bad as another, will be forgiven little.
Verse 48 – And He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Verse 49 – And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
Verse 50 – Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.
Jesus makes it clear that her faith in Him, saved her. His authority to forgive sins was once again in questioned.