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Bible Study: Luke, Chapter Seven

  • RHM Bible Study, Luke Chapter Seven from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Transcript: Today we are going to continue our interactive Bible study and we are going to cover Luke Chapter 7. After the meeting today, or sometime this week, please take the matching Quiz on Luke Chapter 7 that I have prepared on the website. It is on the right hand side and it matches this teaching. Thanks to all that have taken last weeks quiz. Let’s get started:

    Luke Chapter 7 beginning in verse 1 reading the World English Bible:  After he had finished speaking in the hearing of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 
    Jesus finished the “sermon on the plain” and went back to His home city, Capernaum on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, which tells us that the place of the sermon on the plain must not have been far from there. Matthew 4:13 tells that Jesus left Nazareth and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea and it became His home. Capernaum was a thriving town with great wealth, as well as great sin. It was located near a major trade route, and it housed a troop of Roman soldiers. Because Capernaum had the headquarters for Roman troops, the city was filled with heathen influences from all over the Roman Empire. This was a needy, seedy place and where Jesus chose to be.

    2 A certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and at the point of death. 3 When he heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and save his servant. 

    The Roman Centurion here is an oddity. He seems to be a kind and humble man, yet he is a Roman soldier and they were oppressing the Jews at the time. A Roman Centurion was in charge of 100 men. The Centurion job was prestigious and paid well. Centurions were often the sons of wealthy politicians or descended from people of power. The Roman legion was not only a fighting force. Soldiers were expected to assist in building roads, bridges, forts, fortresses, and to dig canals. Much of the army’s support came from its “engineers,” a modern term that is used to classify surveyors, carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, coppersmiths, and others. They were skilled professionals, usually between 18 to 45 years old. 

    This centurion also had an unusual attitude towards his slave. Under Roman law, a slave master had the right to kill his slave, and this was expected if the slave became ill or injured to the point where he could not work. Instead of this, the Centurion sent the elders of the Jews to ask Jesus to come and heal him. The centurion did not think himself worthy of meeting with Jesus, and perhaps thought that Jesus would not want to meet with a Gentile like him either, so he sent Jewish leaders as his representatives to Jesus. 

    4 When they came to Jesus, they begged him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy for you to do this for him, 5 for he loves our nation, and he built our synagogue for us.” 

    At the time, most Roman soldiers hated Jews, and vice versa. The Romans had conquered the area, subdued the people, and began taxing them heavily, but the Jewish elders thought this Centurion was a worthy man and they begged Jesus to come. 

    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. 7 Therefore I didn’t even think myself worthy to come to you; but say the word, and my servant will be healed. 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.”

    The Jews said that the Centurion was worthy, but the Centurion said that he was not. They praised him for building a house of worship, but he felt unworthy for Jesus to go his house. They said that he was deserving, but he felt himself undeserving. Those around Him, held him in great respect, but he had a low view of himself. What a remarkable man. Strong faith and great humility are compatible and sometimes they walk hand in hand. This centurion had both and he understood the chain of command. He recognized that if Jesus just gave the order, his servant would be healed. 

    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.” 10 Those who were sent, returning to the house, found that the servant who had been sick was well.

    Jesus rarely “marveled”. Scripture mentions twice, and both were concerning people’s faith. Jesus marveled here at the faith of the centurion, and earlier at the unbelief of the people in His hometown of Nazareth in Mark 6:6. Jesus can be amazed at either our faith, or at our unbelief. Jesus considered the faith of this Centurion greater than any faith that He had encountered in Israel. 

    11 Soon afterwards, he went to a city called Nain. Many of his disciples, along with a great multitude, went with him. 

    Nain is a town today located in the Jezreel plain, six miles southwest of Nazareth, and twenty-five miles southwest of Capernaum. The fame and popularity of Jesus continued to grow and He had many followers, much more than the twelve. It tells us that a “great multitude” came to Nain with Him.

    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. 

    Any funeral is a tragedy, but this one was specially bad. The deceased was the only son of his mother, and she had already lost her husband. This meant that the widow would have no-one to take care of her, and a miserable future. Widows were often the poorest of the poor. The large crowd with her probably consisted partly of hired mourners and musicians with flutes and cymbals. This was a common practice at the time. There were professional mourners that you could hire. Luke was keenly aware of the plight of widows and they are mentioned more in Luke and Acts than anywhere else in the New Testament, like when he mentioned Anna at the temple when Jesus was a baby. 

    13 When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, “Don’t cry.” 14 He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” 15 He who was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.

    Luke calls Jesus “The Lord” here, and says “When The Lord saw her…” and that Jesus had compassion on her and said “Do not cry”.  Jesus saw what was going on, and it touched Him. He walked over to the coffin, touched it, and told the man to get up - and He gave him to his mother. What an incredible event and it happened in front of great multitudes, the ones that were following Jesus, as well as the ones in the funeral procession. Imagine what the pallbearers thought. Jesus broke up other funerals as well by raising the dead including Jarius’ daughter in Luke 8:41–56, and Lazarus in John 11:1–45. Luke portrays Jesus as warm, loving, understanding, and merciful. 

    Something worthy of note is that Dwight L. Moody was once asked to conduct a funeral service, so he decided to study the gospels to find a funeral sermon delivered by Jesus. However, he could not find one because every funeral that Jesus attended, He broke up by raising the dead. The dead are still being raised in some places today.

    16 Fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited his people!” 17 This report went out concerning him in the whole of Judea, and in all the surrounding region.

    The Old Testament states in several places that the “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge” (Prov 1:7; cf. Job 28:28; Ps 111:10; Prov. 9:10; Eccl 12:13). It was clear that God was at work in their midst, and the people were filled with awe. God had visited His people. 

    18 The disciples of John told him about all these things. 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?” 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?’ ”

    John the Baptizer had his own disciples, just as Jesus had His disciples. By now, John had been put in prison by Herod, and when word about Jesus began to spread, John sent two of his disciples to question Jesus. John chapter 1:29–36 and other passages clearly indicate that John recognized Jesus as the Messiah when he first baptized Him in the Jordan River, but now John was beginning to wonder and asking: “Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for another?” Basically he wanted to know “If you are the Deliverer of Israel, the Messiah, the King of all Kings, then why am I still in prison?” Everyone thought that the Messiah would take back Israel from the Roman occupiers, and even John had questions.

    Something very important to note about this is that in Matthew 11:11–14 Jesus said: “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Yet, John was in the dark about some things. The greatest Prophet that had ever been born from a woman, had doubts, confusion, and questions about what God was thinking at the time. God does not share everything, with anyone, so be wary of people who claim to know everything. No one does.

    21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and to many who were blind he gave sight. 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. 23  Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me.”

    As His answer, Jesus healed a lot of people. Most of these works were fulfilling prophesies made in Isaiah hundreds of years before: 

    • The blind shall see (Isaiah 61:1, 35:5)
    • The lame shall walk (Isaiah 35:5)
    • The deaf shall hear (Isaiah 35:5)
    • The dead shall live (Isaiah 26:19)
    • The poor hear the good news (Isaiah 61:11)

    The Jews and John were looking for a political deliverer, a King who would deliver Israel from Roman occupation, while Jesus was busy changing the world one person at a time. Jesus cared about people, not the earthly kingdoms they had created, and were fighting over. For the most part, the Lord’s service is the same way that Jesus did it, plodding perseverance in doing apparently small things that add up over time. Changing the world one person at a time. The history of the Church shows that this is one of the most difficult lessons for us to learn.

    At the end, Jesus said “Blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” The word offended here is “skandalon” and refers to the bait placed in a trap. In an ancient pit trap, they would dig a big hole in the ground and place sharpened sticks in the bottom of it. They would cover the hole with palm branches, and place a big piece of juicy meat right in the center of the branches. When a tiger or something came to get the meat, it would fall into the pit and onto the sharp sticks. That big piece of juicy meat is the “Skandalon.” Jesus said blessed is he who does not take the bait of offense. Israel was scandalized by Jesus, and it was possible that His audience was offended at His non-traditional style, including John the Baptist. Jesus was not what they expected. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:23 that Jesus was a stumbling block to the Jews. Blessed are those who did not take the bait.

    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? 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. 26  But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet. 27  This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’ 

    Jesus told the crowds that John the Baptizer was a chosen prophet of God, who did not live for his own comfort and then He quoted Malachi chapter 3:1. John was greater than all the previous prophets. Some reasons are that:

    • John was steady, not easily shaken like a reed.
    • John was sober, meaning that he lived a disciplined life, and was not in love with the luxuries of the world.
    • John was a servant, a true prophet of God.
    • John was sent, as the special messenger of the Lord.
    • John was special because he was considered the greatest prophet under the Old Covenant.
    • John got to say “Here is the Messiah” instead of “The Messiah is coming.”

    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.”

    Though John was great, he was not born again under the New Covenant. This is because he lived and died before the completion of Jesus’ work at the cross, and the empty tomb. Therefore, John did not enjoy the benefits of the New Covenant (1 Corinthians 11:25, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Hebrews 8:6–13). Charles Spurgeon said that “The darkest day is still lighter than the brightest night; so John, though first of his own order, is behind the last of the new or Gospel order. The least in the Gospel stands on higher ground than the greatest under the law.” 

    29 When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they declared God to be just, having been baptized with John’s baptism. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of God, not being baptized by him themselves.

    The people who had repented and been baptized by John found it easy to receive what Jesus said. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected Him, and the will of God for themselves. The religious leaders had little use for repentance or John’s baptism. In Matthew 3:7, John had called them a “brood of vipers.” They did not accept the baptism of John, so it was no surprise that they also rejected Jesus. 

    31 And the Lord said, “To what then should I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 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.’ 33  For John the Baptizer came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 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!’ 35  Wisdom is justified by all her children.”

    The idea here is that those who have a heart to criticize, will always find something to criticize and many people wouldn’t be pleased with either John or Jesus. If the message is unwelcome, nothing that the messenger can say or do will be right. John the Baptizer and Jesus were just about opposites, yet the religious leaders liked neither of them. John lived on locusts and wild honey. He was so strict they thought he had a demon. While Jesus` first recorded miracle was turning water into wine at the wedding, and He multiplied bread to feed thousands, so they called Him a drunkard and a glutton. You just can’t win with this crowd.

    36 One of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered into the Pharisee’s house, and sat at the table. 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. 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. 

    A Pharisee invited Jesus to come and eat with him, so some of them were at least still interested in learning more about Him. There was a woman there who was a sinner, and this was not the everyone is a sinner type of sin. She seemed to be a notorious, well-known type of sinner and most believe that she was a prostitute. Some think that this was Mary Magdalene, but there is no evidence of that, and she is not named in the text. A similar thing happened in John 12:3 when Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus’ feet with oil of spikenard, and Judas complained about the cost. The anointing appears to have happened at least twice, and over a year apart. 

    To clarify something, most pictures that you see of the last supper have Jesus and the Apostles sitting in modern chairs around a table. That is not how people ate at that time. They “reclined” at the table on something like a long backless couch called Triclinia. Luke says that the woman was standing behind Jesus at His feet weeping, which means that Jesus was reclining, and His feet were behind Him, not in front of Him. 

    Now during that time, it was scandalous for a woman to let her hair down in public, but this woman wept over His feet until they became wet with her tears, then let her hair down and began to dry His feet with her hair. After this, she kissed His feet and anointed them with her alabaster jar of ointment. When she let her hair down, the rest of this scene probably happened in awkward silence until Jesus spoke, for it was highly inappropriate. As it happens so many times, the broken recognized and loved Jesus, while those who thought they had it together, could live without Him. It is not much different today. 

    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.” 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” He said, “Teacher, say on.”

    Even though this Pharisee had invited Jesus to come eat with him, this crossed the line and he began to question Jesus’s response to the woman. Simon the Pharisee thought that if Jesus were a Prophet, He would have seen the heart of this woman and how sinful she really was. Jesus could and did, and He could also see what was in Simon’s heart, which was much worse. Jesus “perceived” what Simon the Pharisee was thinking, which means that the Holy Spirit shared the man’s thoughts with Jesus. You can call it is a word of knowledge or what have you, but the point is that Jesus suddenly knew the man’s thoughts, and then He told a parable about a money lender: 

    41  “A certain lender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42  When they couldn’t pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most?” 43 Simon answered, “He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most.” He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 

    Everyone is a sinner and owes a debt to God, but some owe more than others. One in the parable owed 10 times as much as the other. The lender erased both of their debts and made them equal. 

    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. 45  You gave me no kiss, but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46  You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 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.” 48 He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Those who sat at the table with him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

    Jesus applied the parable to them, and said “Simon do you see this woman?” Simon the Pharisee did not see the woman as she was (a humble sinner that was seeking forgiveness, and pouring out her love for Jesus) because he looked at her as she had been (a notorious sinner). All he could see was her past, but Jesus could see her future. Jesus noticed both the Pharisee’s neglect and the woman’s devotion. Jesus told her “Your sins are forgiven” and “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” 

    Take the Quiz for Luke Chapter Seven!

    Quiz on Luke Chapter 7 (For those that cannot take the interactive quiz above):
    1. A _____’s servant was sick and about to die, so they sent for Jesus and pleaded with Him to come heal him.
    2. The Roman Centurion sent the elders of the _____ to ask Jesus to come.
    3. The Jewish elders told Jesus that the Centurion was a worthy man and had built their _____.
    4. The Roman Centurion sent men to Jesus and said “I am a man under _____, having soldiers under me.”
    5. When Jesus heard these things, He _____ at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”
    6. Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called _____; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd.
    7. And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a _____.
    8. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “_______.”
    9. Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “___________.” 15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.
    10. After the disciples of John came and Him questions, Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not ______.”
    11. For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater _____ than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
    12. And when all the people heard Him, even the ______ justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.
    13. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come _____, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
    14. Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought ______ of fragrant oil.
    15. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a ______.”
    16. And Jesus answered and said to him, “_____, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
    17. There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed ______ denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both.
    18. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he ______.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.”
    19. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My _____ with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
    20. Then He said to the woman, “Your _____ has saved you. Go in peace.”

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Social Sharing

  • 1
Barbara Neahring
Barbara Neahring

Thank you!  Wonderful message!   I shared this with family.  

October 22, 2017
  • 1
Deng Tembreza
Deng Tembrezaedited: October 23, 2017

Thank you.  Learning so much from all of these study.  I love the quizzes but never got a perfect score.

October 23, 2017
  • 1
David  Earlywine
David Earlywine

Thank you and God Bless

October 25, 2017
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Hi Julia! If you give it a try today, is it still like that? We have made some changes that should have fixed that now :)

March 9, 2018
  • 1
Patty Seckar
Patty Seckar

Thank you Pastor for another wonderful sermon. Love your teachings!!!

March 8, 2018
  • 1
Shara Abel
Shara Abel

Informative and moving.  I love the explanations and history.  Thank you so much!  

May 2