Luke 7 Dead Raised, Sin Forgiven
Summary

This chapter begins with two great miracles. First, Jesus heals a servant of a Roman soldier. The story is especially noteworthy because of the humble and charitable nature of the centurion. Jesus marveled at the faith of this man. Second, Jesus raises a boy from the dead. Jesus’ compassion for the mother of this boy is impressive. We are told in this chapter also about the relationship of the ministry of John the Baptist and that of Jesus. Jesus confirms the role of John as a great prophet of God who was preparing the way for Him. Later in the chapter, a sinful woman is forgiven by Jesus and the Lord takes that occasion to explain how love and forgiveness may be tied to each other. .

Jesus Heals a Centurion's Servant

7After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2Now a centurion had a servant[1] who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. 3When the centurion[2] heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, 5for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” 6And 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. 7Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. 8For 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.” 9When 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.” 10And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.

Question 1

In what ways was the spirit of the centurion praised by Jesus?

Jesus Raises a Widow's Son

11Soon afterward[3] he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12As 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. 13And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus[4] gave him to his mother. 16Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

Question 2

What effect did Jesus’ raising the widow’s son have upon the people?

Messengers from John the Baptist

18The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, 19calling 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?” 20And 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?’” 21In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers[5] are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Question 3

How did Jesus respond to the questions of John the Baptist’s disciples?

24When John's messengers had gone, Jesus[6] began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25What 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. 26What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27This is he of whom it is written,

“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’

28I 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.” 29(When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just,[7] having been baptized with the baptism of John, 30but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)

31“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32They 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.’

Question 4

To what did Jesus liken the men of his generation?

33For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34The 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!’ 35Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. 37And 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, 38and 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. 39Now 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.” 40And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

41“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44Then 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. 45You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49Then those who were at table with him began to say among[8] themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Question 5

How did Jesus show Simon true love in the present conduct of the sinful woman?

People
  • A centurion
  • His dear servant was about to die.

  • A widow of Nain
  • Her only son had died.

  • Disciples of John
  • Sent to Jesus to confirm Him to be the “Coming One.”

  • Pharisee named Simon
  • Asked Jesus to a meal

  • A sinful woman
  • Jesus forgave her

Places
  • Capernaum
  • A city on the north coast of the Sea of Galilee.

  • Nain
  • A village 15 miles southwest of Tiberias near the eastern end of the Valley of Esdraelon at Mt. Moreh.

Jesus Heals a Centurion's Servant

7After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2Now a centurion had a servant[1] who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. 3When the centurion[2] heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, 5for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” 6And 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. 7Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. 8For 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.” 9When 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.” 10And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.

Luke 7:2

The Roman army was organized with centuries (100 soldiers), cohorts (6 centuries), and legions (10 cohorts). A centurion was the officer over a century, a very responsible position.


Luke 7:3

The Jewish elders, uncharacteristically, help this Roman (Gentile) because of his character.

Jesus Raises a Widow's Son

11Soon afterward[3] he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12As 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. 13And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus[4] gave him to his mother. 16Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

Luke 7:13

This woman had now lost both her husband and her son and probably had no means of support.


Luke 7:14

Jesus raised three persons from the dead (apart from His own resurrection): this son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7); the daughter of Jairus (Luke 8); and Lazarus, Mary and Martha’s brother (John 11).

Messengers from John the Baptist

18The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, 19calling 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?” 20And 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?’” 21In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers[5] are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Luke 7:19

John was in prison, perhaps depressed and not understanding some things in Jesus’ ministry.But he seems to have not lost his faith in Jesus. He simply asks for confirmation.

24When John's messengers had gone, Jesus[6] began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25What 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. 26What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27This is he of whom it is written,

“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’

28I 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.” 29(When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just,[7] having been baptized with the baptism of John, 30but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)

7:28.

Those in the coming kingdom would be greater than John because John was not in the kingdom.

31“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32They 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.’

Luke 7:32

These children were immature, inconsistent, and playing childish games. They were also proud and arrogant thinking they could demand that everyone follow their lead.

33For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34The 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!’ 35Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

Luke 7:33

The ill-behaving Jews tried to set the spirit of the times rather than following God’s messenger.

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. 37And 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, 38and 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. 39Now 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.” 40And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

Luke 7:39

The presumption is that if Jesus were a prophet, He would know this woman to be sinful. Jesus knew her character and her sins, but He was compassionate to her.


Luke 7:40

Jesus showed that He was a prophet by knowing the private thoughts of Simon.

41“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44Then 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. 45You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49Then those who were at table with him began to say among[8] themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Luke 7:43

It should be expected that th eone forgiven most would love most. Therefore, if there is more to forgive in the woman, she will love Him most and show it with her actions.


Luke 7:50

Only God can forgive sins…therefore, Jesus is Divine.

Only God can offer salvation…again, Jesus speaks as teh Divine Son of God.

Perspectives

By Jesus’ miracles, we glorify God and recognize that God has visited His people (vs. 16).

Those who receive the words of Jesus will be baptized and follow Him.

In this chapter we learn that Jesus acted in forgiving sins and offering salvation as the Son of God.