A centurion has great faith. Jesus raises a widow’s son. John the Baptist asks about Jesus. An unresponsive generation. Jesus forgives sins.
A certain centurion. This man was a Gentile.
VERSE 3. When he heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and save his servant.
VERSE 4. When they came to Jesus, they begged him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy for you to do this for him,
he loves our nation. This Gentile man loved the Jewish people.
Acts 10:34-35. Peter opened his mouth and said, “Truly I perceive that God doesn’t show favoritism; 35 but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.
VERSE 6. Jesus went with them. When he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I am not worthy for you to come under my roof.
VERSE 7. Therefore I didn’t even think myself worthy to come to you; but say the word, and my servant will be healed.
VERSE 8. For I also am a man placed under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
VERSE 9. When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude who followed him, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel.”
I have not found such great faith. This is an extraordinary thing for Jesus to say. There are two key parts to it:
great. The Greek word is τοσαύτην (“tosautēn”). It means so great, so much, so large, so long, so many.
faith. The Greek word is πίστιν (“pistin”). It means faith, belief, trust, confidence, fidelity, faithfulness.
not in Israel. This Gentile man’s faith excelled all the people in Israel. How can we be more like this centurion? How can we increase our faith?
Luke 17:5-6. The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6 The Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you would tell this sycamore tree, ‘Be uprooted, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
VERSE 10. Those who were sent, returning to the house, found that the servant who had been sick was well.
VERSE 11. Soon afterwards, he went to a city called Nain. Many of his disciples, along with a great multitude, went with him.
VERSE 12. Now when he came near to the gate of the city, behold, one who was dead was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Many people of the city were with her.
he had compassion on her. The Lord Jesus is rich in compassion.
Are you rich in compassion?
VERSE 14. He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”
VERSE 15. He who was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.
VERSE 16. Fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited his people!”
VERSE 17. This report went out concerning him in the whole of Judea, and in all the surrounding region.
VERSE 18. The disciples of John told him about all these things.
VERSE 19. John, calling to himself two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for another?”
Are you the one who is coming. People knew the Messiah would show up any day.
John may have had in mind this verse from Malachi:
Malachi 4:5. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.
VERSE 20. When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptizer has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?’ ”
VERSE 21. In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and to many who were blind he gave sight.
VERSE 22. Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John the things which you have seen and heard: that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.
VERSE 23. Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me.”
VERSE 24. When John’s messengers had departed, he began to tell the multitudes about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
VERSE 25. But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are gorgeously dressed, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts.
gorgeously dressed. That is, dress luxuriously. A true prophet does not wear luxurious clothing.
live delicately. That is, live sumptuously. A true prophet does not live sumptuously.
VERSE 26. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet.
VERSE 27. This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’
The prophets foresaw the arrival of a messenger who would prepare the way for the Messiah. Read more »
VERSE 28. “For I tell you, among those who are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptizer, yet he who is least in God’s Kingdom is greater than he.”
there is not a greater prophet. John the Baptist was the greatest of all the prophets.
he who is least in God’s Kingdom is greater than he. This shows how great our privilege is. We get to know Jesus Christ. We get to be in a love-relationship with Jesus Christ.
Eternal life is knowing God the Father and Jesus Christ. Do you know them? Do you have a love-relationship with them? Here are the Bible verses about this »
Matthew 11:11. Most certainly I tell you, among those who are born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptizer; yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.
Luke 1:17. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to prepare a people prepared for the Lord.”
Luke 7:28. “For I tell you, among those who are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptizer, yet he who is least in God’s Kingdom is greater than he.”
VERSE 29. When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they declared God to be just, having been baptized with John’s baptism.
VERSE 30. But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of God, not being baptized by him themselves.
VERSE 31. “To what then should I compare the people of this generation? What are they like?
VERSE 32. They are like children who sit in the marketplace, and call to one another, saying, ‘We piped to you, and you didn’t dance. We mourned, and you didn’t weep.’
VERSE 33. For John the Baptizer came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’
VERSE 34. The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard; a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
eating and drinking. Jesus Christ was not a tee-totaler. He ate sumptuous food and he drank alcohol.
Jesus did not live an ascetic lifestyle. We imagine that wherever Jesus was, that’s where the party was.
Many Christians want to deny that, especially in the U.S., where many Christians associate godly zeal with being a tee-totaler.
Christians in the U.S. are also influenced by the Puritanical tradition, and by and centuries of preaching that equated alcohol and dancing with sin and evil.
Some Christians have a sad face and a somber demeanor. We wish they could know the joy of their Lord. Holiness is marked by joy. Joy equals strength! Read more »
Deuteronomy 21:20. They shall tell the elders of his city, “This our son is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey our voice. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”
Proverbs 23:21. for the drunkard and the glutton shall become poor; and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Matthew 11:19. The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”
Luke 7:34. The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard; a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
VERSE 35. Wisdom is justified by all her children.”
VERSE 36. One of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered into the Pharisee’s house, and sat at the table.
sat at the table. That is, “reclined at table.” In those days, they did not sit on chairs. Rather, they reclined on the floor, adjacent to a low table.
VERSE 37. Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment.
a woman … who was a sinner. This is not the case of Mary anointing Jesus’s feet and wiped his feet with her hair as a preparation for burial.
Rather, this is a woman repenting and Jesus forgaving her:
Matthew 26:7. a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table.
Mark 14:3. While he was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster jar of ointment of pure nard—very costly. She broke the jar, and poured it over his head.
Luke 7:37-38. Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38 Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
VERSE 38. Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
VERSE 39. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “This man, if he were a prophet, would have perceived who and what kind of woman this is who touches him, that she is a sinner.”
VERSE 40. Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” He said, “Teacher, say on.”
VERSE 41. “A certain lender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
denarii. in those days, one denarius was a day’s wage.
VERSE 42. When they couldn’t pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most?”
VERSE 43. Simon answered, “He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most.” He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”
VERSE 44. Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, and you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head.
VERSE 45. You gave me no kiss, but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss my feet.
VERSE 46. You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.
VERSE 47. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
VERSE 48. He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
VERSE 49. Those who sat at the table with him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
VERSE 50. He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.