Passage: Luke 7
v1-10 - A Centurion (a Roman army commander in charge of 100 men) who is very much loved by the Jewish community he lives in has a servant who is near death, so he sends some Jewish elders to ask Jesus to heal the servant. The elders state the centurion 'deserves' to have this done (v4), but yet the centurion states he 'doesn't deserve to have Jesus come under his roof (v6).' Jesus is amazed at the faith of the Gentile centurion and heals the servant from a distance.
v11-17 - The next day, Jesus encounters a funeral procession for the only son (literally the only begotten son) of a widow. Jesus has huge compassion for her (literally, His 'insides go out' to her, or as the NIV puts it, 'His heart went out to her (v13).' Jesus amazes all by telling her dead son to get up, and he does.
v18-35 - John the Baptist, who is in prison for standing up to the king's immorality, sends a delegation to ask if Jesus is actually the Messiah. This seems like an ignorant, even insulting question to ask, especially after Jesus has just brought the dead boy back to life, but instead of trading insults, Jesus points out to John's messengers the way that He fulfilled what the prophets had written.
v36-50 - This chapter ends with a dramatic dinner party in the house of a Pharisee, in which a woman "who lived a sinful life (v37)" makes a scene, weeping over Jesus' feet, and drying them off with her hair. A typical 'holy man' would not want to be associated with such scandal, which is exactly what Simon the Pharisee was thinking. But Jesus doesn't miss a beat, and uses the example of forgiven debtors to illustrate why the woman's display of affection was so sincere. Jesus once again stuns the group by pronouncing the woman's sins forgiven (v48).
Old Testament Reference -
1 Kings 17:7-24 tells of the miraculous things that Elijah did for a Gentile widow, including bring her son back from the dead.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions.
Compare/contrast those who recognize Jesus in this chapter (the centurion and the sinful woman) with those who seem to not recognize Jesus (John the Baptist and Simon the Pharisee).
Put yourself in John's shoes. Why do you think he wondered if Jesus was actually the Messiah?
Compare/contrast the sinful woman and Simon the Pharisee. Why was it so difficult for Simon to understand Jesus the way the woman did?
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father in heaven who has come to help His people (v16)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to make clear to you the amount of debt He's freed you from so that you can love Him as the woman did (v41-42)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Communion Preparation for Good Friday:
Those who come to the Lord's Table must be conversion-minded. As we prepare for Friday, we'll be reminded what this means from Lord's Day 32-33 of the Heidelberg Catechism:
MONDAY: Can un-converted people who do not turn to God from their ungrateful and impenitent ways be saved?
By no means. Scripture tells us that no unchaste person, no idolater, adulterer, thief, no covetous person, no drunkard, slanderer, robber, or the like will inherit the kingdom of God.
TUESDAY: What is involved in genuine repentance or conversion?
Two things: the dying-away of the old self, and the rising-to-life of the new.
WEDNESDAY: What is the dying-away of the old self?
It is to be genuinely sorry for sin and more and more to hate and run away from it.