Luke Chapter 7

Bible Study on Luke 

Luke Chapter 7

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Luke 7 Outline:

7:1-10 Jesus heals a Centurion’s servant.

7:11-17 Jesus raises a widow’s son from the dead.

7:18-23 John’s disciples question Jesus

7:24-35 Jesus commends John the Baptist

7:36-39 Penitent woman anoints Jesus

7:40-43 Parable of the forgiven debtors

7:44-50 Jesus forgives the woman

Fun Facts:

Study Notes:
— Centurions were men of integrity and character. They were solid, stable, trusted leaders in the Roman army. They are mentioned favorably in the Bible (Luke 23:47; Acts 10:22; 22:26; 23:17, 23; 24:23; 27:1, 43). The Centurion in Luke 7 had financed their synagogue (5). Cornelius (Acts 10:22) was a Roman Centurion “who feared God.”

— The servant was “at the point of death” and highly esteemed by the Centurion, who was a gentile.

— Matthew (Matt 8:5) records that the centurion came to see Jesus himself where Luke records that he sent messengers. The traditional view is that Matthew abbreviated the story and left out details that were not essential to it where Luke’s commentary is much more detailed. One’s actions through agents is still viewed as one’s actions, like when Herod killed the children of Bethlehem. 

— The centurion was a humble man and told Jesus that he was not worthy to come to Him (7).

— The centurion had faith in Jesus, “simply speak the word and let my servant be healed.” We speak all day, but about what? It makes one think. What if the words that you are speaking are prophesying your own future?

—  (9) Jesus “Marveled” at him (To wonder, to admire). Jesus is only recorded marveling twice in the Bible: once in Nazareth because of their unbelief (Mark 6:6), and again at the centurions belief (Luke 7:9).

—  Jesus entered a town called Nain and came upon a funeral procession. A widow’s son had died. As a widow, her husband was dead and her son would have taken care of her, but now she had nothing. Jesus had compassion on her and told the young man to get up, and he did. No one asked Jesus to do anything. He did it on His own accord.

— (7:11) This is the only place in the Bible that the town of Nain is mentioned. It is generally held that this site is modern day Nein which is located about 6 miles from Nazareth and a days journey from Capernaum. 

— To touch the undead would make Jesus “ceremonially unclean” but He never placed religious ceremony before human need. Jesus reached out to him, spoke a word that resurrected his lifeless body, and gave him back to his mother alive. The people who witnessed this resurrection glorified God, and said “God has visited His people.” 

— John the Baptist was now in prison. Evidently he expected Jesus to do something about that, or something spectacular, but as time went by, John remained in prison. So John sent some disciples to Jesus to ask what was going on. John had prophesied that the One coming would bring judgement (Luke 3:17), but Jesus had only brought mercy and compassion. It would have been perplexing. John had a chance to become offended at Jesus.

— After John’s disciples had left, Jesus made it clear that He was not degrading or rebuking John by explaining that he was the greatest of men. Yet John belonged to the time of promise, and those that entered the kingdom would be living in the time of the fulfillment.  

— (29) The “tax collectors” became a of class of their own, lower than the low. 

— (30)  The religious leaders of the day “rejected the purpose of God for themselves.” They heard the words of Jesus, they saw the actions of Jesus just like everyone else. Yet they rejected the plan of God for themselves. They could have accepted it. They were concerned with the past law of God, but not with the current will of God. A closed mind will always lead to mistakes. 

— Jesus points out that there is no way to please the religious leaders (32). John came eating no bread and drinking no wine and they rejected him and said that he had a demon. Jesus came eating and drinking wine and they rejected Him and called Him a “glutton and a drunkard.”

Wine in the Bible: Grapes ripen in the fall and in biblical times, people had no way to prevent the fermentation. All grape juice would soon become wine and that is what they drank until the next grape harvest. The grape harvest would occur around the month of September and the Passover was celebrated about the month of April. This means that all the grape juice would have been at least 6 or 7 months old, and stored at room temperature without air tight containers. It was now wine. As it continued to age, it became vinegar (sour wine). If you want to test this yourself, buy a bottle of grape juice, open it and sit it on your counter and within 30 days it will start to become wine. In three months, it will be. All that you need to turn grape juice into wine is air, nature will provide the rest. Try this and then tell me that 6-month-old grape juice was “unfermented.” A church that I served at did communion once a month and I helped prepare it. At first I tried to save opened bottles of grape juice, but by the next month it had begun to ferment and I had to throw it out.

Only Nazirites like John the Baptist (Numbers 6:1-4) were commanded to not drink wine. When Melchizedek met Abraham, he brought out bread and wine (Gen 14:18). One of the drink offerings offered to God was a portion of wine (Exodus 29:40). This was “fermented” wine, not grape juice (Hebrew: Yayin). This word is used over 130 times in the Hebrew Bible to mean “fermented wine”, not grape juice. The primary word used for wine in the New Testament is the greek word: “Oinos” (Strongs #: 3631). Paul told Timothy to use a little (Oinos) wine for his stomach problems (1 Tim 5:23). Jesus drank wine (Luke 7:32) because the passover meal would include fermented wine and Jesus drank from that (Mark 14:23) at the last supper. Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine (Oinos) (John 2:9) and it was a fine wine at that. Drinking wine was no more of a sin than eating bread and Jesus used those two terms together.

That said, there are plenty of scriptures about having too much (Pro 20:1). Drinking too much wine continuously would make you a drunkard, and that is sin (Eph 5:18). Also eating too much food continuously will make you a glutton (Pro 23:2), and that is also sin. Moderation is key to a good life. However the prohibitionists view of scripture is twisting the word to fit a personal preference instead of what it actually says and when examined closely, fails to make sense. Jesus was a Jew, and Jews have no problem with drinking wine especially at events like weddings. Think about it…

— The woman who wept over the feet of Jesus loved God more than the pharisee who owned the house. Her sins were many, but so was her love and love covers a multitude of sins (Prov 10:12, 1 Peter 4:8).

 
A map of the town of Nain



Questions:
1. Jesus said that He found greater faith in the centurion than He had anywhere, even in Israel. What do you think the Lord saw in this soldier that impressed Him so?

2. With the centurion, Jesus acted on a request. In the case of the widow who had lost her son, His compassion caused Him to act without even being asked. What do these situations tell you about God’s nature?

3. Jesus declared that John was the greatest amongst those “born of women”, yet the “least in the kingdom of God is greater than he”. What do you think that statement means for us as Christ followers?

4. At the table of Simon the Pharisee, Jesus rebuked the Pharisee and forgave the sinful woman. Do you think we may ever act like the Pharisee? If so, what can we do about it?

5. What do you think are the qualities He saw in the sinful woman, and how can we develop them in ourselves?

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