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Luke Seven

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Luke 7:1 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.

Luke 7:2 And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.

Luke 7:3 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 7:4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:

Luke 7:5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.

Luke 7:6 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 7:7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.

Luke 7:8 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 7:9 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.

so great faith. The Gentile soldier, like the Phoenician woman, exhibited greater faith in the words of Christ (Matthew 15:28) than the Israelites to whom He had come.

Luke 7:10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.

Luke 7:11 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 7:12 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 7:13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

Luke 7:14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

Arise. This is the first of the three individuals raised by Jesus from the dead (see also Luke 8:54-55; John 11:43), and this event is recorded only by Luke.

Luke 7:15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

Luke 7:16 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 7:17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

Luke 7:18 And the disciples of John showed him of all these things.

Luke 7:19 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?

Art thou he. It is generally believed that John, unjustly imprisoned by Herod, was so discouraged because Jesus had not helped him get out of prison that he was about to lose his faith. However, in view of John's strength of faith and character, as confirmed by Christ (Luke 7:28), this seems unlikely. Furthermore, he was filled with the Spirit (Luke 1:15) and had received God's direct revelation that Jesus was, indeed, “He that should come” (John 1:32-34). Consequently, an alternative explanation for John's question should be considered. John had urged his own disciples to follow Jesus (John 1:35-37), knowing that “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), but some still persisted in loyalty to him instead. While this was admirable in a way, John earnestly desired all his own converts to follow Christ. When he heard of Jesus' miracles, especially His restoring the life of the widow's son (Luke 7:14), he decided the way to accomplish this was to send his disciples to Jesus with this specific question, so they could see and hear for themselves. Jesus answered them merely by referring to the prophecy in Isaiah 61:1-3 (the same Scripture He had used in the Nazareth synagogue which demonstrated His fulfillment of the prophecy by letting them see His works (Luke 7:20-22).

Luke 7:20 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?

Luke 7:21 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 7:22 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 7:23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Luke 7:24 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?

Luke 7:25 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 7:26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.

Luke 7:27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

it is written. See Malachi 3:1.

Luke 7:28 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.

not a greater prophet. See notes on Matthew 11:11.

Luke 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.

justified God. This is one of several evidences that John's gospel preaching, followed by baptism of his converts, was authentic Christian evangelism and baptism. Those who submitted to John's baptism upon their repentance and faith in the coming Lamb of God, immediately “justified God” (implying full acceptance of Christ) as soon as they met Him.

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

Luke 7:31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?

Luke 7:32 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.

Luke 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.

Luke 7:34 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!

ye say. The fact that “they” called Jesus a glutton and winebibber does not mean at all that He was either one, any more than John the Baptist was demon-possessed (Luke 7:33). He was “a friend of publicans and sinners” (Luke 7:34), because He had come “to seek and to save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10), and this was the fallacious basis of their ridiculous charge.

publicans. See note on Luke 5:29.

Luke 7:35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.

Luke 7:36 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.

Luke 7:37 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,

a sinner. Probably this implies she had been a prostitute, and many have assumed it was Mary Magdalene. This is unlikely, however, for Luke does not identify her, whereas Mary Magdalene is clearly identified just a few verses further on (Luke 8:2), and apparently was a woman of some substance (Luke 8:3).

alabaster box of ointment. This event took place in Galilee, fairly early in Jesus' ministry. Some time later, during the last days of His ministry on earth, Mary of Bethany (near Jerusalem), a devoted follower of Jesus, performed a similar act of devotion (John 12:3). It may well be that Mary had heard of the earlier act by the formerly sinful woman, and felt that she should do the same. See also note on Matthew 26:12.

Luke 7:38 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.

weeping. Whoever this was, she had somewhere encountered Jesus, had turned to Him in faith (Luke 7:50), and He had forgiven her sins (Luke 7:48). In gratitude and love, she boldly entered the Pharisee's home to thank Him in the best way she could think of, and the Lord accepted it.

with tears. “Tear bottles” have been found among the artifacts from ancient Israel, in which their owners would collect and keep their tears. This woman had apparently spent many nights weeping over her sins and seemingly hopeless life, thus collecting enough tears actually to bathe the feet of Jesus in gratitude for forgiveness and salvation. See note on Psalm 56:8.

Luke 7:39 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.

Luke 7:40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

Luke 7:41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.

Luke 7:42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

Luke 7:43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

Luke 7:44 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.

Luke 7:45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

Luke 7:46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

Luke 7:47 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.

Luke 7:48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

Luke 7:49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Thy faith hath saved thee. This is a beautiful example of the salvation of a lost sinner by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-26).