Luke Chapter 7
The Faith of the Roman Officer
(Read Luke 7:1-35)
Jesus has revealed God’s power and compassion by healing the servant of a Roman centurion. He cares about us because we are living in a broken and sinful world. Someday soon God will fully restore this broken world. The centurion loved the Jews and built the synagogue for them. He believed that Jesus could heal his servant even from a distance. Jesus marveled at the faith of the centurion and said “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel”. To learn more read notes on Matthew 8:5-13. Jesus also raised a Widow’s son in the village of Nain. This report spread through the whole of Judea and even out across its borders. Fear seized them all, and people glorified God. John the Baptist was imprisoned shortly after he introduced Jesus to Israel. John began to doubt Christ's mission because his ministry did not meet the political and social expectations of Jews. Jesus told John’s disciples that he was in fact, fulfilling the prophecy of the Messiah (Isaiah 35:5-6; 61: 1,2a). John the Baptist was the greatest of all prophets leading up to Jesus (Luke 7:28). He announced the coming kingdom but never lived to see it. It is currently hidden from the eyes of the natural man and seemingly unimpressive. Only those who have been saved can experience the blessings of God’s kingdom (John 3:3; Romans 14:17). Jesus said “The least in the kingdom of God will enjoy more privileges than did John”. Jesus compares the generation that rejects both John and Jesus to children playing games in the public square. But those who are wise follow the wisdom that God reveals through his servants. The centurion serves as a model of what faith in Christ looks like. Have you responded to Christ by faith?
Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman:
(Read Luke 7:36-50)
Jesus was invited to eat in the house of Simon, a Pharisee. A sinful woman heard that Jesus was there and She brought a jar filled with expensive perfume to anoint him. She began to wet his feet with tears and wiped them with her hair. She kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Simon was offended by her action and thought why Jesus failed to identify her. Jesus knew his thoughts and answered him with the story of two debtors. One owed 500 denarii and the other 50 to a certain money lender. Their debts were canceled because they could not repay. Jesus asked “Which of them will love him more?” Simon answered “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt”. Jesus said “You have judged rightly”. Jesus said “This woman’s sins are many but they have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love”. The men at the table said among themselves “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman “Your faith has saved you; go in peace”. Here we see the difference between two kinds of people. Simon the Pharisee failed to show the basic hospitality to Jesus. Meanwhile the sinful woman of faith showed great affection for Jesus. This story teaches that God provides forgiveness through faith in Jesus. Jesus has the authority to forgive sin because he is God. Those who love Jesus little don’t understand their own sinfulness and the grace of God. Those who have been forgiven much, show greater appreciation for Christ’s mercy (Luke 7:47). When we understand our brokenness and cast ourselves upon Jesus, we receive forgiveness, love and peace. Do not think that you have little need for Christ’s mercy.