Luke 7: Healing the Centurion’s Servant

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Luke 7:1–7 When Jesus finished speaking to the people, he went to Capernaum. There, a Roman officer had a dear servant who was sick and near death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent respected Jewish leaders to ask him to come heal his servant.
Immediately upon arriving, they said, “This man is worthy of your help because he loves our people and has built a synagogue for us.”
So Jesus went with them, but as he came to a place not far from the house, friends brought a message from the officer. “Sir, do not put yourself to any trouble. I am not important enough for you to enter my house, nor did I consider myself worthy to see you. Just give the order, and my servant will be healed.”
King James
Luke 7:1–7 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. 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. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. 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: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.

Many people invited Jesus into their homes. Why did the Roman officer see himself as unworthy of that honor when others said he was worthy?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 7:1–7 When Jesus finished speaking to the people, he went to Capernaum. There, a Roman officer had a dear servant who was sick and near death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent respected Jewish leaders to ask him to come heal his servant.
Immediately upon arriving, they said, “This man is worthy of your help because he loves our people and has built a synagogue for us.”
So Jesus went with them, but as he came to a place not far from the house, friends brought a message from the officer. “Sir, do not put yourself to any trouble. I am not important enough for you to enter my house, nor did I consider myself worthy to see you. Just give the order, and my servant will be healed.”
King James
Luke 7:1–7 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. 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. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. 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: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.

Where did the Roman officer get faith that was greater than anything Jesus had seen before?

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Luke 7:8–9 “For I also am a man under authority. At my command under Caesar, my soldiers come and go and do exactly what I say.”
Jesus marveled at the message. To those following him, he said, “In all of Israel, I have never seen such faith.”
King James
Luke 7:8–9 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. 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.

What do you think happened after the Roman officer’s servant was healed?

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Luke 7:10 When the messengers arrived at the officer’s home, they found that the servant had completely recovered.
King James
Luke 7:10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.

How large was the crowd that followed Jesus? What were their expectations?

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Luke 7:11 Soon after the healing of the Roman officer’s servant, Jesus walked toward the town of Nain. His disciples and a huge crowd followed him.
King James
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.

What was the extent of the mother’s grief? Why?

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Luke 7:12 As they approached the town gate, they met a large funeral procession for the only son of a widow.
King James
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.

What might have made Jesus’ compassion any different from how he felt about others in need?

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Luke 7:13 When Jesus saw the widow, he was filled with compassion and said to her, “Do not cry.”
King James
Luke 7:13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

What did the grieving mother think when Jesus told her not to cry?

Author’s Thoughts
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Luke 7:13 When Jesus saw the widow, he was filled with compassion and said to her, “Do not cry.”
King James
Luke 7:13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

Why did Jesus touch the stretcher?

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Luke 7:14 He walked over and touched the stretcher while the bearers stood still. “Young man. I say to you, arise.”
King James
Luke 7:14 He walked over and touched the stretcher while the bearers stood still. “Young man. I say to you, arise.”

How did the young man hear Jesus when he was dead?

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Luke 7:14 He walked over and touched the stretcher while the bearers stood still. “Young man. I say to you, arise.”
King James
Luke 7:14 He walked over and touched the stretcher while the bearers stood still. “Young man. I say to you, arise.”

What do you think the dead son said when he sat up?

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Luke 7:15 The dead son sat up and began to speak. Jesus presented him to his mother.
King James
Luke 7:15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

After seeing the miracle, what did people do?

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Luke 7:16–17 A deep reverence came upon all who saw what had happened. They praised God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us,” and, “Today, God has visited us.”
The news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and beyond.
King James
Luke 7:16–17 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. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

After identifying Jesus as the Messiah, why did John need to send disciples to verify Jesus’ identity?

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Luke 7:18–19 John the Baptizer heard from his disciples about all that Jesus was doing. He sent two of them to ask, “Are you the one to fulfill God’s promise, or must we look for someone else?”
King James
Luke 7:18–19 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. 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?

What evidence did John’s disciples gather that proved who Jesus was?

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Luke 7:20–22 So the men went to Jesus and said, “John the Baptizer has sent us to ask, ‘Are you the one to fulfill God’s promise, or must we look for someone else?'”
At that time, Jesus was healing many who were sick or had physical handicaps. He cast out evil spirits and gave sight to the blind.
“Go tell John what you have seen and heard,” Jesus said. “The blind see, the lame walk, and the lepers are cleansed. The deaf can hear, the dead are raised, and the needy receive words of hope.”
King James
Luke 7:20–22 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? 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. 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.

What makes it difficult to have faith in Christ?

Author’s Thoughts
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Luke 7:23 “Tell him a man is blessed when he puts his faith in me.”
King James
Luke 7:23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

How could John be greater than any other person who had ever lived?

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Luke 7:24–28 As the two left, Jesus asked the people about John. “What did you go into the wilderness to see? A reed blown over by the wind? Why did you go? Was it to see a man dressed in fine clothes? No, those people live in the royal palaces. What did you expect to see? A prophet? Yes, and I tell you, he is more remarkable than a prophet. He is the one the prophet Malachi talked about when he wrote: See, I will send my messenger to prepare the way before me. Believe me, John the Baptizer is greater than any other person ever born. Yet the lowliest one in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John.”
King James
Luke 7:24–28 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? 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. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 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.

Why did religious leaders resist John and his baptism?

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Luke 7:29–30 “Everyone who heard John, including the tax collectors, yielded to God’s way when they were baptized, but the Pharisees and teachers of the Law rejected God when they refused to be baptized.”
King James
Luke 7:29–30 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

In what ways were people in the first century like society today? What are the differences?

Author’s Thoughts
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Luke 7:31–35 Jesus said, “What are the people of this generation like? They are like children in the marketplace, whining to get what they want. They say, ‘We played our flutes, but you would not dance for us. We wailed our funeral songs, but you never shed a tear with us.’ John the Baptizer did not party with the people. He chose not to eat or drink with others, and they said, ‘He has an evil spirit.’ When the Son of Man came, he ate bread and drank wine. They condemned him as well, calling him a drunkard and a glutton, a friend of dishonest tax collectors and other sinners. However, the results show the actions to be wise.”
King James
Luke 7:31–35 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? 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. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. 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! But wisdom is justified of all her children.

Why did the sinful woman want to anoint Jesus with expensive perfume?

Author’s Thoughts
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Luke 7:36–38 A Pharisee invited Jesus to dinner, so Jesus went to his house and sat at his table.
A sinful woman from the town heard Jesus was there and brought a jar made of fine gypsum filled with perfume. Kneeling behind him, she wept. She wiped his feet with her hair, kissed them, and rubbed them with the perfume.
King James
Luke 7:36–38 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. 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, 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.

Why did the Pharisee have a problem with what he saw happening?

Author’s Thoughts
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Luke 7:39 When the Pharisee saw this, he thought, This man cannot be a prophet or he would know the woman who is touching him is a sinner.
King James
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.

How grateful should we be for what God has done for us? In what ways should that gratitude show in our actions?

Author’s Thoughts
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Luke 7:40–48 “Simon,” Jesus said, “I need to tell you something.”
“What is it?”
“Two men owed a debt to a money lender. One owed five hundred days’ wages, the other, fifty. Neither of them had any money, so he cancelled their debts. Which man do you think loved the lender more?”
Simon said, “I suppose it would be the one whose large debt was cancelled.”
“You have judged correctly.”
Jesus turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Have you seen her gratitude? When I arrived, you did not give me water to wash my feet. But she has washed my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not greet me with a kiss, but she has covered my feet with kisses. You put no oil on my head, but she has anointed my feet with expensive perfume. Isn’t it obvious? Her sins were very great, so she is exceptionally grateful to be forgiven. Those who receive only a little forgiveness have little love to give.”
Jesus said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”
King James
Luke 7:40–48 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.
And he saith, Master, say on.
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most.
And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
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. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 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.
And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

Why did Jesus tell the woman that her sins had been forgiven? Why did people question his right to say so?

Author’s Thoughts
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Luke 7:48–49 Jesus said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”
Other guests at the table whispered among themselves, “Who does this man think he is, that he can forgive sins?”
King James
Luke 7:48–49 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

What did the woman’s faith accomplish? Why?

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Luke 7:50 Ignoring them, Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has set you free. Go in peace.”
King James
Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.