Bible Study: Luke Chapter 7



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Welcome back to another Bible Study. Today we will be looking at Luke Chapter 7. As always let us pray for guidance before we begin.

1 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.

Luke 7:1 KJV

Now we see the group has left the countryside and has entered into the city of Capernaum. It literally translates to Village of Nahum. Jesus told this city as his headquarters pretty much; a base of operations for the apostles.

And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.

Luke 7:2 KJV

Centurions are Roman officers. Generally they commanded a troop of soldiers. His servant most likely was not a soldier but an actual servant.

And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.

Luke 7:3 KJV

I want you to understand how unusual this is. The Jewish people had no love for Rome at all. So a Centurion having elders do anything for them is really strange.

And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:

Luke 7:4 KJV

Now not only this but these Jewish elders apparently loved the guy. So much so they were in a way telling Jesus that he had to help him. Saying he is worthy is them passing their own judgement and almost in a way commanding Jesus to do this.

For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.

Luke 7:5 KJV

Now we understand why. This Centurion loved the Jewish people. Maybe even believed in God.

Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:

Luke 7:6 KJV

Now we have the Jewish elders above fetching Jesus telling him you have to heal this man’s servant. That he is “worthy”; contrast this with his reaction to seeing Jesus out his window. He sent his friend to Jesus to inform him that he was not worthy.

This guy is a very very strange man. This would be like the police chief in town telling a group of Black Lives Matters protesters that he is not worthy of receiving one of their activists. Sorry for the politics but it is the most illustrative image I could imagine. This would never happen.

Roman’s never showed any humility before the Jewish people. This would only serve to foment weakness and give a window of opportunity for him to be taken advantage of.

However, his spiritual discernment was so great that he recognized Jesus as being special. Granted he already loved the Jewish people but no doubt he believed that Jesus was holy in some way. So much so as to not wanting to bother him.

Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.

Luke 7:7 KJV

Once again this man is a pagan who worshiped the Roman gods most likely. Rome held a pantheon of twelve gods. To recognize another peoples god is unusual but to recognize their prophets as well. Is strange.

He held faith in Christ to heal his servant without even touching him. Simply that he say it and it be so.

Faith is not hoping something to be true. Faith is knowing something to be true.

For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

Luke 7:8 KJV

This may be a little hard to see. However, what this man is saying is that he recognizes Jesus’s command and authority. He is saying he understand temporal authority over his soldiers. What he is suggesting is Jesus has command over disease as he has command over his soldiers.

When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Luke 7:9 KJV

I want to make a thing of this. This is a rich gentile without any benefit of knowing ANY scripture most likely, maybe a slight thing here and there because of the Jewish people ministering passing words. Certainly nothing greater than a few sayings here and there. After all the Jews did not proselytize. He is a soldier! His job is to kill people at the command of his country.

This person by all respects should be the antithesis to the Jewish people and he is! However, not in the way one would expect. He believed so confidently in Christ that he was confident Jesus could heal his servant at a distance at command alone. Most likely this Centurion is the apex of faith demonstrated in all history.

10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.

Luke 7:10 KJV

Amazing. Absolutely amazing. Even Jesus was marveled at his GENTILE’S faith.

11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.

Luke 7:11 KJV

This is a city southwest from Capernum. It was roughly twenty-five miles away.

12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.

Luke 7:12 KJV

I want you to note. This woman is now alone in the world. Not only did she lose her husband but now she has lost her only son. Jesus and the group come upon them leaving the city gates as they are carrying out her dead son.

13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

Luke 7:13 KJV

Notice Jesus is referred to as the Lord here. He also tells her not to cry which presumes she was crying, obviously.

14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

Luke 7:14 KJV

Bier is a corpse wagon, I mention this because I did not know myself and had to look it up. I am sure there is a few of you like me reading this. The people pushing the cart stopped. Jesus commands the corpse of this young man to arise. Most likely what we consider today as a teenager. Remember the Jews consider a boy a man at the age of thirteen.

15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

Luke 7:15 KJV

Somewhere the man heard Jesus’s command and answered to it. He sat up. This means that he was resurrected from the dead. This was no mere parlor trick. I want to break confusion here. So let’s look at a verse in Hebrews.

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Hebrews 9:27 KJV

While this is true. There is such thing as resurrection; bringing someone back from the dead. It is within the power of this world that such things can happen. The extension of this is the idea of reincarnation. That is not within the power of this world to occur. Reincarnation is not something that occurs. So resurrection the raising the dead is possible. Reincarnating someone into a new life VIA through a new body and new mother is not possible.

16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

Luke 7:16 KJV

This parallels Elijah, who did the same.

17 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.

18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?

19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.

20 And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?

21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.

22 And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.

24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.

1 Kings 17:17-24 KJV

As we can see these people were remembering the tale of Elijah so this is why they recognized this was of God and said Jesus was a great prophet. Elijah was revered by all.

17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

Luke 7:17 KJV

Naturally such a miracle would travel fast.

18 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.

Luke 7:18 KJV

These are the disciples of John the Baptist. I am not exactly sure when this was exactly but this is when John was in prison for sure. So this is chronologically out of order.

19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

Luke 7:19 KJV

This is John in doubt of what he had believed. He was expecting Christ to be a military hero. However, now he lay in prison and sees no evidence of a coming King. So John in his doubt sent a messenger to Jesus to receive direct word from him.

20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.

Luke 7:20-21 KJV

Jesus was busy working miracles at the time of their approach.

22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

Luke 7:22 KJV

Basically he tells them tell John what I am doing in the world. This is because anyone can lie. Only one sent from God can work such things in the world. It was his demonstration that would bring John the solace he needed.

23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Luke 7:23 KJV

Offended here is skandalisthē (σκανδαλισθῇ), it means to snare or to cause stumbling. This is Christ saying that do not stumble and stay with him. He is the one John is expecting.

24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts.

Luke 7:24-25 KJV

John was not a flashy man nor did he aim to please. All that went out to see him were either believers of his message or went to scoff.

26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.

27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Luke 7:26-27 KJV

Jesus is referring to some prophecies written of John.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Isaiah 40:3 KJV

John the Baptist was the voice in the wilderness.

1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

Malachi 3:1 KJV

Once again this is a testament to John.

28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

Luke 7:28 KJV

Now pay close attention here. Jesus is saying that John is not saved. He is saying that the least in the kingdom of God shall be greater than him. What in the world does that mean? John is under the law. He was the last herald before the age of grace. The age of grace is the time between Christ’s resurrection and his second coming. Salvation is only available between these two periods of time.

Those that are saved under the age of grace have a special position in heaven. They shall be called Kings and Priests. We as Christians are Kings and Priests of the Kingdom of Heaven. Those outside of the Kingdom from what I understand. That is not to say they shall go to hell either. There is far more between heaven and earth than you can imagine.

As you study the New Testament I want you to be sympathetic to the difference between the Christian and those who are outside of this period. There will be times in the future where grace will not be given just as grace was not a thing before Christ.

Use this opportunity afforded to you wisely.
The age of grace is coming to an end.

29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.

30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?

Luke 7:29-31 KJV

So we have a contrast who believed in John’s message, those who were baptized and the religious leaders who rejected God’s messenger.

32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.

34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.

Luke 7:32-35 KJV

This is Christ pointing out that they would accept nothing but their own believes and traditions. It is important that tradition be put to death when contradiction of your own ideas comes from God. God has a funny way of surprising everyone. Never be too big for God; cause you’re not.

36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.

37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,

38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

Luke 7:36-38 KJV

Ok this is completely weird to our modern minds. It was customary for roads to be dirty and generally people’s footwear were sandals at the time. When someone would have a dinner party it was customary to have peoples feet washed. They were generally dirty and muddy from traveling. This woman is who would not have been invited into this man’s house. Generally rabbis did not speak with women in public.

She had most likely heard of Jesus at this time and wanted to show her gratitude for Christ. She was a troubled person clearly because she was crying to Christs feet and washing him in her tears. This is not something that people normally have command of in that amount.

39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

Clearly she was known for something in the town.

40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

This Pharisee is named Simon we see. Not only that but Jesus answers the man’s thoughts.

41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.

42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

I want you to understand how large of debts these are. One pence is roughly one days work. So five hundred is over a years worth of work. So Simon could easily see that five hundred days of work vs fifty days of work clearly which one would the man love more to forgive such debts.

44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

Not only did this woman wash Christ’s feet where Simon did not which was customary to offer, but she did it with something far more personal than just water alone, but with her very tears.

Now let’s not forget what Jesus has pointed out. The two are debtors to him. They are both sinners before Christ.

45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

He pointed to the heart of a person. She loved him greatly, however Simon a “righteous” man loved little. Therefore the sins of the woman are forgiven because her heart was right but Simon isn’t because his heart is not right.

This is also a point. I have heard it preached that only men go to heaven. If there is a forgiveness of sins between both men and women then surely women can be saved as well as men.

48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Only God can forgive us our sins. The debt is forgiven regardless of the amount. It is to the heart of the person which God looks at. If one loves God and loves their neighbors and accepts Christ. They shall be saved regardless of their debt.

God is far more interested in the heart of the person.

I hope you enjoyed this Bible Study and it has helped you grow in Christ. Please feel free to leave comments and send questions when you have them. Go in peace and walk with God.


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