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Gospel of Luke Chapter 7
Theme: Jesus heals the centurion's servant; Jesus restores to life the son of the widow of Nain; Jesus praises John the Baptist; Jesus goes to dinner at a Pharisee's house; Jesus gives parable of two debtors.
This chapter opens with another marvelous record of healing, that of the centurion's servant. Although Jesus had no personal contact whatsoever with the servant, He made him well, just by speaking.
Only Luke records the raising from the dead of the son of the widow of Nain, and Luke is the only Gospel writer who records Jesus raising from the dead two persons (the other was Jairus' daughter Lk.8:54-55).
Also in this chapter is the first of eighteen parables that only Luke records, rising out of Jesus' visit to the home of a Pharisee where a woman anointed Jesus’ Feet with ointment. The simple parable of the two debtors revealed that this woman of the street was better than Simon, the Pharisee. What a Friend we have in Jesus!
Jesus Heals the Centurion's Servant (Luke 7:1-10)
Luke 7:1 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. (KJV)
Now when he had ended all his sayings . . . in the previous chapter, about doctrines, instructions and warnings, He still had many more things to say,
In the audience of the people . . . the common people, the multitude besides the disciples. And what He said, He said openly, publicly and with a loud and clear voice, that all might hear.
He entered into Capernaum . . . Jesus entered into His own city, and where He had been before, and done miracles.
Luke 7:2 And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. (KJV)
And a certain centurion's servant . . . there were many Roman soldiers in this city. A centurion was a Roman officer who commanded 100 men. It seems this officer was a man of faith. This is the same that Matthew makes mention of (Mat.8:5-6).
Who was dear unto him . . . the centurion’s servant was an honest, upright, faithful and obliging servant, and he . . .
Was sick and ready to die . . . of a palsy (Mat.8:6). His case was distressing, and there was no help for him by any human means, which makes the following cure by Jesus, all the more remarkable.
Luke 7:3 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. (KJV)
And when he heard of Jesus . . . when the centurion heard that Jesus had come into the city of Capernaum; and of His miracles, which he had done there, and elsewhere,
He sent unto him the elders of the Jews . . . in whom he had an interest, judging himself, being a Gentile, very unworthy and unfit to go himself, and ask a favor of such a great a Person as Christ Jesus was; such was his modesty and humility.
Beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant . . . he besought Jesus most earnestly by these messengers, that He would come to his house, and cure his servant of the palsy, by laying His Hands on him, or commanding the distemper off by speaking; or in what way He should think fit, for the centurion had no doubt that Jesus was able to heal him.
Luke 7:4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: (KJV)
And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, that he was worthy for whom he should do this . . . when they came to where Jesus was, either at Peter's house, where He often went, or possibly as He was passing along the streets, that they came up to Him. The messengers assured Jesus that the centurion was a worthy man.
Luke 7:5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. (KJV)
For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue . . . for the Jewish nation, which was Christ's nation, as well as theirs, He being a Jew (Jn.18:35). This they mention as an encouragement to persuade Him to consider the centurion; for even though he was a Gentile, he was a friend of the Jews, and well loved by them, which was very rare. It was not common for the Gentiles to love the Jews, any more than the Jews to love the Gentiles.
Luke 7:6 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: (KJV)
Then Jesus went with them . . . the elders of the Jews, towards the centurion's house, after hearing their request, and their reasons for it. There was no hesitation, no reluctance. Jesus at once complied, and went with them freely.
And when he was now not far from the house . . . of the centurion, where his servant lay sick; he having some notice of Jesus’ coming, and of his being near his house, in great humility, and being conscious of his unworthiness to have such a Person under his roof, sent messengers to stop Him.
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 . . . the centurion knew full well the law of the Jews, that it was not lawful for a Jew to go into the house of an uncircumcised Gentile; and even though he might be a proselyte of righteousness, and so his house was OK to enter, yet considering his own lowness, and the greatness of Christ Jesus, who was so famous for His doctrines and miracles, he thought it too great for Jesus to condescend to come into his house.
Luke 7:7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. (KJV)
Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed . . . the centurion did not think himself worthy to go to Jesus himself, nor was he
worthy of His coming into his house. The centurion’s love for the Jewish nation was proven by his building a synagogue for them at Capernaum. He was an officer with much authority. He could say to a soldier, "Do this," or "Go there," and the soldier would obey. He recognized that Jesus had that kind of power and that He need only to speak the word in order that his servant might be healed. Jesus was greatly impressed at the faith of this man. It is recorded that only on two occasions Jesus marveled. He marveled at the faith of the centurion and at the unbelief of Israel (Mk.6:6).
Luke 7:8 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. (KJV)
For I also am a man set under authority . . . of the Roman senate; and under the command of a tribune, as a centurion was, so this is not an amplification, but a lessening of his office; and his sense is, that even he who had just an inferior officer, yet had such power as,
Having under me soldiers . . . a hundred, or more.
And I say unto one, go, and he goeth, and to another, come, and he cometh, and to my servant, do this, and he doth it . . . just as his servant used to do, and who now lay sick, and was very dear to him. His meaning is, that Christ could as easily command, and call off a distemper, and it would obey Him, just as the centurion could command obedience from his soldiers and servant, and have it done, and more so.
Luke 7:9 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. (KJV)
When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him . . . when the friends of the centurion related from him, and in his name; or possibly which he himself spoke, coming up to Christ after them. There was great humility and modesty in the centurion, and the strength of his faith was something that we certainly should consider, and too, the manner of his thinking. Not many like this man today.
And turned him about . . . turned around from him and his friends,
And said unto the people that followed him . . . the multitude that followed Him from the mount to Capernaum, and as he was passing along the streets.
I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel . . . or among the Israelites, or "in all Israel", as He did in this humble Gentile (Mat.8:10).
Luke 7:10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick. (KJV)
And they that were sent . . . both the elders of the Jews, and the friends of the centurion,
Returning to the house . . . of the centurion, where his servant lay, and from where they had come,
Found the servant whole that had been sick . . . for he was healed immediately, as soon as the centurion had expressed his faith, and Jesus had declared that it should be according to it, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. (Mat.8:13).
For verses 1-10, see Mat.8:5-13.
Jesus Brings Back to Life the Son of the Widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-16)
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. (KJV)
And it came to pass the day after . . . after Jesus had cured the centurion's servant in Capernaum, where He stayed all night.
That he went into a city called Nain . . . possibly near Mount Tabor, and the river Kison. and Many of his disciples went with him . . . not only the twelve apostles, but many others,
And much people . . . from Capernaum, and other parts, that followed Him to see His miracles, or for reason or another, although, they did not believe in Him.
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. (KJV)
Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city . . . of Nain,
Behold: there was a dead man carried out . . . of the city; for they did not bury in cities, but in places outside, and at some distance. the burying places of the Jews were not near, their cities; and they had different ways of carrying them out to be buried, according to different ages: a child under a month old was carried out in the bosom of a person; if a full month old, in a little coffin, which they carried in their arms; one of a twelve month old was carried in a little coffin on the shoulder; and one of three years old on a bier or bed, and so upwards; and in this way was this corpse carried out, who was
The only son of his mother . . . hence the sorrow and mourning were the greater (Zec.12:10). And she was a widow . . . her loss was considerable, and having neither husband, nor son, to do for her, her case was very distressing.
And much people of the city was with her . . .
according to the age of persons was the company that attended them to the grave: if it was an infant, not a month old, it was buried by one woman, and two men, but not by one man, and two women; if a month old, by men and women; and whoever was carried out on a bier or bed, many mourned for him; and whoever was known to many, many accompanied him; and which was the case of this dead man. He seems to have been well known and respected by the company that attended him to his grave. Since they carried their dead a great way, they had to often change their bearers. It was forbidden to do any work when a dead man was buried, even one of the common people. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3842-burial
Luke 7:13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. (KJV)
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her . . . knowing her case, that she was a widow, and had lost her only son,
And said unto her, Weep not . . . indicating, that He would help her, which He did in an unusual way, and without being asked to do it, as was usual in other cases.
Luke 7:14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. (KJV)
And he came and touched the bier . . . or "bed", as such were those which were three years old, and upward. Jesus came near and touched . . . not that by His touching of the bed, the dead should be raised, but this He did so the bearers would stop. From this it should seem, that a circumcised person, as Jesus was, might touch a bier without offence, and without contracting any ceremonial pollution: to touch a dead body, or the bone of man, or a grave, was forbidden by the law (Num.19:16), and so, according to the traditions of the elders, the stone that was rolled at the mouth of the sepulcher, and the side of the sepulcher, defiled by touching; but it seems that touching a bier was ever forbidden.
And they that bare him stood still . . . the bearers of the bed or bier.
And he said, young man, I say unto thee, arise . . . Jesus spoke as One that had the keys of death and the grave; and divine power went along with His Words, which raised the dead man to life; and was full proof of the true and proper deity of Christ Jesus, the Messiah.
Luke 7:15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. (KJV)
And he that was dead . . . he had been dead, but he was now alive! It was a clear case to all his relatives and friends, or they would never have brought him out to bury him.
Sat up . . . upon the bed, or bier: and began to speak. Both his sitting up and speaking, were plain proofs of his being brought back to life.
And he delivered him to his mother . . . for whose sake Jesus had raised him from the dead, showing compassion on her. As Christ showed His power in raising the dead man, He revealed great humanity, kindness and tenderness, in delivering him alive to his mother. Can you even begin to imagine what a touching scene this must have been? A gracious and loving Jesus!
Luke 7:16 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. (KJV)
And there came a fear on all . . . that were present there, and heard and saw what was done. This was not a fear of dread and terror and punishment, as in devils and wicked men . . . but it was an awesome loving fear and reverence of the divine majesty, whose power and Presence they had witnessed there at that time.
And they glorified God . . . they all praised Him, and gave thanks to Him, attributing this amazing action to His divine power, and gave God the glory for it.
Saying, that a great prophet is risen up among us . . . even that great Prophet Moses wrote of, and said should be raised up from among the children of Israel (Deut.18:15,18), and that God hath visited His people (Ruth 1:6; Lk.1:68), "for good", because God sometimes visits for evil, in a wave of wrath and sore displeasure (Ps.2:5). But this was a visitation for good! They had determined that God had looked upon them with great love, and had a gracious regard to them, and had sent them the Messiah, who, they hoped, would deliver them from the Roman yoke; as He had formerly looked upon, and visited their fathers, and sent a redeemer to them, to deliver them from Egyptian bondage (Deut.5:6).
Luke 7:17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about. (KJV)
And this rumour of him . . . the report of this amazing miracle in raising a dead man to life, that was being carried to his grave,
Went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about . . . the report went
not only in Judea, and the several cities, towns, and villages in it, but all the country round about it, especially Galilee, all countries which are round about Jordan (Mat.3:5).
In verses 11-18, Luke tells us how Jesus brought back to life the widow’s son. When the Lord saw the poor widow following her son to the grave, He had great compassion on her. We see Jesus’ power over death itself. The Gospel call goes out to all people, to young people and old. Only Jesus can raise us from spiritual death! Only Jesus can give us light and life. When Jesus put life into the dead man, it appeared by the young man sitting up. Do you have grace from Christ Jesus? Do you show it? Whenever Jesus gives us spiritual life, He opens our lips in prayer and praise. To be silent is a sin (Mat.28:19-20). When dead souls are raised to spiritual life, by the Divine power of the Gospel, we MUST glorify God, we must see it as a gracious visit to His people. There shall be a time when the Redeemer's voice shall call forth all that are in their graves. May we be called to the resurrection of life, NOT to that of damnation.
Jesus Approves of John the Baptist (Luke 7:19-35)
At this point, John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to the Lord Jesus to ask a few questions because John was puzzled.
Luke 7:1:18 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. (KJV)
And the disciples of John showed him of all these things . . . the miracles that were done by Jesus, mainly the healing of the centurion's servant, and the raising from the dead the widow of Nain’s son, and the fame and reputation Jesus got everywhere by His doctrine and His mighty works. John was now in prison, when his disciples came and told these things to him (Mat.11:2), and they spoke of them, not as commending Christ for them; but as being envious of, grieving, and complaining, that he carried away all the honor and glory from John their master, for whom they had the greatest respect.
Luke 7:19 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? (KJV)
And John calling unto him two of his disciples . . . which was a sufficient number to be sent on an errand, to ask a question, and report the answer, or bear witness to any fact they should see, or hear done.
Sent them unto Jesus, saying, art thou he that should come, or look we for another? . . . not that John doubted that Jesus was the Messiah; nor was it for his own satisfaction so much that he sent these disciples of his with this question, but for theirs; and to remove all doubt and hesitation from them about Christ Jesus.
Luke 7:20 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? (KJV)
When the men were come to him . . . to Jesus; those two men that John sent from the castle of Machaerus, where he was now a prisoner, to Jesus, who was teaching in some city or town of Galilee:
They said, John the Baptist . . . well-known by his being the administrator of the ordinance of baptism,
Hath sent us unto thee, saying, art thou he that should come, or look we for another? . . . see: (Mat.11:3).
Luke 7:21 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. (KJV)
And in that same hour. . . when these men came to Christ,
He cured many of their infirmities . . . of bodily weaknesses and disorders: plagues, which were inflicted on them as scourges and corrections for sin, very severe diseases, such as epilepsies, leprosies, palsies and of evil spirits; or devils, which he dispossessed and commanded out of the bodies of men.
And unto many that were blind he gave sight . . . freely, as an act of grace and kindness, as the word signifies, without any merit, or motive, in them.
Luke 7:22 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. (KJV)
Then Jesus answering said unto them . . . to John’s disciples,
Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard . . . they had just seen many cured of infirmities, plagues and evil spirits, and they had heard the doctrines of the Gospel preached by Him; and both were proofs of His being the Messiah,
How that the blind see . . . they that had been blind, and some that were born blind received their sight, which was what was never heard of before, from the beginning of the world; and which, as it is an instance of Christ's almighty power, showing Him to be God; so it was a fulfilment of a prophecy concerning him as the Messiah, who, when he came, was to open the eyes of the blind, (Isa.35:5), and this was true, not only in a physical, but in a spiritual sense, and generally so it was, that when the blind received their bodily sight, they also received their spiritual sight; and both were evidences of the true Messiahship of the Lord Jesus.
The lame walk . . . these were among those who were cured of their infirmities; and this also was prophesied of the Messiah, and was now accomplished by Jesus, that "the lame man" should "leap as an hart" (Isa.35:6), and so was to be considered by John, and his disciples, as another proof of Jesus being the true Messiah.
The lepers are cleansed . . . these were the ones who were cured of their plagues, for leprosy was called a plague.
The deaf hear . . . so in the above prophecy in Isaiah, it is predicted, that "the ears of the deaf should be unstopped" in the days of the Messiah; and which therefore must be considered as a further confirmation of Jesus being He that was to come, and that another was not to be looked for.
The dead are raised . . . whether there were any raised at this time, or not, is not certain; but certain it is, that there had been one raised from the dead, if not in the presence of these disciples, yet just before they came to Christ, of which John had been informed by some of his disciples.
To the poor the Gospel is preached . . . it was preached both by the poor, the disciples of Christ. The poor means base, low class and illiterate among the Jews; and also to the poor, meek, and lowly in heart, as was prophesied should be, by the Messiah, (Isa.61:1) so with all that put together, there were undisputable proofs, and a full demonstration, that Jesus was the Messiah. (Mat.11:4-5).
Luke 7:23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. (KJV)
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me . . .blessed is he that doubts not of me and blessed are they who do not deny me, and are not offended in me. The disciples of John, both doubted Jesus as the Messiah, and were offended at His fame and success. (Mat.11:6).
Luke 7:24 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? (KJV)
And when the messengers of John were departed . . . the two disciples of John that he sent, when they were gone back with the answer of Jesus to John.
He, began to speak unto the people concerning John . . .He took this chance before all the people who had heard what was said between Him and the disciples of John, to say some things concerning John’s character and ministry. He did this to correct and remove any wrong opinion they might have had of John.
What went ye out in the wilderness to see? . . . this refers to Matthew 3:1-5, where great numbers from Jerusalem, Judea and the country round about Jordan, went out into the wilderness of Judea, where John came preaching, to hear him, and be baptized by him. The Lord asks: What was that led the multitudes into the wilderness? What did they expect to see there?
A reed shaken with the wind? . . . the region of country where John preached, overflowed each year by the Jordan, producing great quantities of reeds, or canes, that were of a light, fragile nature, easily shaken by the wind. They were a symbol of a changing, unpredictable man. John's sending to Christ to inquire about His character, might have led some to think that John was changing and inconstant, like a reed. He had once credited Jesus to be the Messiah, and now, being in prison, he was sending to Jesus to question the fact, they might have thought that he had no fixed principles. John was NOT a reed shaken with the wind! He was a wind shaking the reeds! The majority of today’s pulpits have become like a “reed shaken by the wind” because in weakness the pastor is afraid to offend someone in the congregation. A reed shaken by the wind symbolizes a man who is swayed by public opinion. We need men like John the Baptist, a WIND shaking the reeds! (Mat.11:7).
Luke 7:25 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. (KJV)
But what went you out for to see? . . . if not his appearance and acts, what did they go to see?
A man clothed in soft raiment? . . . if this was the case, their labor was in vain, and they had their walk for nothing; for John was clothed with camels' hair, course and rough, and had a leather girdle around his waist; there was nothing in his person, appearance, and garb, that was attractive.
They which are gorgeously appareled . . . or richly clothed, as John was not.
And live delicately . . . in the most elegant manner, and on the richest dainties, as John did NOT, his food being locusts and wild honey. (Mat.3:4).
Are in kings' courts . . . not in a wilderness, where John came preaching.
Luke 7:26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. (KJV)
But what went ye out for to see? . . . why did you go into the wilderness to see him, since it could not be any of the above reasons? Was it to see,
A prophet? . . . for John was a prophet, and was known to be one; and his fame drew vast multitudes to see and hear him, for there had not been a prophet among the Jews, for hundreds of years.
Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet . . . he was not the prophet Moses said would come (Deut.18:15,18), nor was he the priest that should arise with the "Urim" and "Thummim", that the "Tirshatha" spoken of in Ezra and Nehemiah (Ezra 2:63; Neh.7:65), nor was he the Almighty King Messiah; but he was His forerunner, he saw Him and baptized Him, and so was much greater than any of the prophets that went before him.
Luke 7:27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. (KJV)
This is he of whom it is written . . . Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. (KJV) . . . Malachi wrote about John the Ba[tist. See Mat.11:10.
Luke 7:28 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. (KJV)
For I say unto you . . . there is not a greater prophet . . . the Lord Himself applied Malachi’s words to John the Baptist; to whom the things said in it perfectly agree. He was a "messenger", not by nature, but by office; sent by God, "before the face" of the Messiah (Lk.1:76); six months before Him: the same amount of time that John was born before Jesus; and the same amount of time that he entered on his public ministry before Him; and "prepared" His "way before" Him, by preaching the doctrine of repentance, administering the ordinance of baptism, pointing at the Messiah, and urging people to believe on Him. All of this proving that John the Baptist was what Christ says he was, "more than a prophet". Jesus said these things in praise and approval of John.
Luke 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. (KJV)
And all the people that heard him . . . gave their assent to what was said by Jesus, and showed their approval, having been baptized by him.
And the publicans justified God . . . even these wicked men, who were before unrestrained sinners, when they came under John's ministry, were so changed by the power and grace of God through it, that they approved of, and applauded the wisdom, goodness, and grace of God, in sending such a prophet as John. They affirmed by their
Being baptized with the baptism of John . . . they voiced their feelings by their obedience.
Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. (KJV)
But the Pharisees and lawyers . . . the scribes and lawyers were the same sort of wicked persons as the publicans. These rejected the command of God unto them.
They despised the command of God . . . meaning the ordinance of baptism, which was of God, and the product of His counsel and wisdom, as are all the ordinances of the Gospel, for these are not the creation of men (Mat 15:9).
Being not baptized of him . . . by John . . . by their neglect of this ordinance, they testified their hatred to it, and their refusal of it.
Luke 7:31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? (KJV)
And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation . . . the men of that age, the stubborn and perverse Jews who would not listen to John or Jesus. They found fault with anything that they heard, or saw done. History repeats itself! It is the same thing today with both Jews and Gentiles. For more on this, see: Mat.11:16-19.
Luke 7:32 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.(KJV)
They are like to children sitting in the market place . . . they are spoiled children. The generation Jesus was speaking to was like that, and this generation is too. With some people, everything is useful in leading them to God, while with others, nothing is sufficient. Everything is good to an upright mind, but everything is bad to an evil heart.
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 . . . this refers to Jewish children, who having seen their parents and friends at their festivals and weddings, some play the pipe, and others dance to them, mimicked the same in their pastime, also observed at funerals the mourning women, making their doleful songs, and others answering to them, acted the part of these persons, expecting their friends would respond, but did not, so they complain. Jesus condemned the attitude of His generation. No matter what He said or did, they were not happy. They were contemptuous, unmoved and doubtful because He challenged their comfortable, secure and self-centered lives. Far too often we justify our inconsistencies because if we listen to God, we will have to change the way we live. (Mat.11:16-17).
Luke 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. (KJV)
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread, nor drinking wine; and ye say, he hath a devil . . . this and the following verse explain the above "parable" and this shows, that John and his disciples are the persons that mourned, of which his austere life was a proof. He "came" because he was sent by God, and came into view as a public preacher. John was "neither eating nor drinking"; not that he did not eat or drink at all, but he ate very little; and what he did eat and drink, was not the common food and drink, but lived upon locusts and wild honey. He refused all invitations to people's houses, and shunned all feasts and entertainment. He withdrew from all sociable conversation with men, in eating and drinking: and although the Scribes and Pharisees pretended abstinence and frequent fasting, yet they did not follow his severe way of living. They say he hath a devil . . . is a demoniac, a madman, one that is unsociable and under the illusion of Satan, and influenced by him to abstain from proper food and company of men, under a presence of religion. John was both strict and severe. And they did not feel comfortable with him. (Mat.11:18).
Luke 7:34 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! (KJV)
The Son of man is come eating and drinking . . . meaning Himself, who ate and drank as men usually do, lived in the common way of life, was free and sociable, attended feasts and weddings when He was invited; and was pleasant, courteous and friendly in his manner, to all men.
And ye say, Behold a gluttonous man and a wine bibber . . . a ravenous man, with an excessive appetite, one that indulges his appetite to a very great degree, and in a disgraceful manner. A winebibber is one that drinks to excess; one that is given to wine, and is greedy of it.
A friend of publicans and sinners . . . those that are openly and notoriously wicked; and loves their company, for the sake of drinking with them; and encourages them in their reveling and drunkenness. . . what a very horrible thing to say about Jesus.
Luke 7:35 But wisdom is justified of all her children. (KJV)
But wisdom is justified of all her children . . . the children of wisdom are the wise, those who understand. I think Jesus means that although that generation of Pharisees and fault-finders did not appreciate the conduct of John and Himself, but those who are wise understood the reason of their conduct; and would approve of, and do justice to it. (Mat.11:19).
In verses 19-35, John the Baptist inquires about Jesus: His miracles, His Kingdom of grace, to which the Gospel is preached to the poor. It clearly points to the spiritual nature of Christ's Kingdom, that the messenger He sent before Him to prepare His way, did it by preaching repentance and reformation of heart and life.
We see the just blame of those who rejected the ministry of John Baptist and of Christ Jesus Himself. The unbelievers made a joke of the methods God took to do them good. This was the ruin of multitudes in that day, for they were not serious in the concerns of their eternal souls. This attitude is widespread today.
There were two groups of people in that day, just as it is today! The children of the devil and the children of God (1 Jn.3:10). The children of God are the children of wisdom, by believing the instructions of God's Holy Word, and loving those glad tidings which infidels and Pharisees blaspheme, reject and ridicule.
Jesus Goes to Dinner at A Pharisee's House (Luke 7:36-39)
Luke 7:36 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. (KJV)
And one of the Pharisees . . . whose name was Simon (verses 40,43,44).
Desired that he would eat with him . . . either dinner or supper; this he did under a disguise of respect, and show of affection to Him; although very likely with a plan to ensnare Him, or take some advantage against Him if he could. It is certain that Simon did not treat Jesus with the respect and courtesy commonly used to guests (verses 44-46).
And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat . . . Jesus did not hesitate, but at accepted his invitation, although He knew both the man and his intentions; and having nothing to fear from him, was willing to carry it politely to all men, and give proof of what He had just now said of Himself, (verse 34).
Luke 7:37 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, (KJV)
And behold, a woman in the city . . . not Mary Magdalene, spoken of in (Lk.8:2), but a different person, who had not been noticed of by Luke before; nor Mary the sister of Lazarus, who is said to anoint the feet of Christ, and wipe them with her hair (Jn.12:3). The incident here recorded, cannot be the same with that; for this was in Galilee, and that in Bethany; this in the house of Simon the Pharisee, that in the house of Lazarus; this was some time before Jesus’ death, and after this He went through every city and village, that was but six days before His death, and after which He never went from those parts; nor is this account the same with the history, recorded in (Mat.26:6-7; Mk.14:3), for that fact was done in Bethany also, this in Galilee; that in the house of Simon: the leper, this in the house of Simon the Pharisee; that was but two days before the death of Christ, this a quite a time before; the ointment that woman poured, was poured upon his head, this upon his feet. Who this woman was, is not certain, nor in what city she dwelt; it seems to be the same in which the Pharisee's house was; and was no doubt one of the cities of Galilee, as Naim, Capernaum, or some other at no great distance from these.
Which was a sinner . . . it seems this woman was known to be a sinner, maybe an abandoned woman or a prostitute. Some think she was a Gentile, Gentiles being considered by the Jews as sinners, and the worst of sinners; but there is no proof of this. It is certain that she had much to be forgiven, and she had probably had left behind her life of sin. There is no evidence that this was the woman commonly called Mary Magdalene. An alabaster-box (Mk.14:3).
When she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house . . . having seen it herself, that he was invited by him, and went with him.
Brought an alabaster box of ointment . . . alabaster is a type of marble, well-known for being light, and of a beautiful white color, almost transparent. It was much used by the ancients for the purpose of preserving various kinds of ointment in. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1056-alabaster
Luke 7:38 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. (KJV)
And stood at his feet behind him . . . Jesus lay upon a bed, or couch, as was the custom of the ancients, both Jews and others, at meals, with His Feet put out behind; and between the couches and the walls of the room, there was a space for servants to serve.
And began to wash his feet with tears . . . which fell from her eyes in such abundance upon His Feet, as she stood by Him, that they were like a shower of rain, with which His Feet were as it were, bathed and washed; His shoes or sandals being off, as was the custom at eating so to do.
And did wipe them with the hairs of her head . . . her hair was long, and hung loose about her shoulders, it being usual and attractive for women to wear long hair (1 Cor.11:15).
And anointed them with the ointment . . . which she brought with her.
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. (KJV)
Now when the Pharisee, which had bidden him, saw it . . . when Simon who had invited Jesus to eat with him, saw what was done by the woman, how she stood at his feet, and washed them with her tears, and wiped them with her hairs, and then kissed and anointed them,
He spoke within himself . . . not openly and publicly, being in good manners, although NOT in genuine respect to Christ, unwilling to insult his guest.
Saying, this man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is, that toucheth him . . . as he was said to be a Prophet, and believed to be by many, but questioned by this Pharisee. He took it for granted that Jesus did not know this woman, that she was one of the city; nor her character.
For she is a sinner . . . a notorious one; and the sense is, Jesus, had He really been a prophet, the Pharisee suggests, would have known that this woman was a vile creature; and He would have shown it by His hatred and rejection of her; or He would have declared her sins.
Jesus Gives Parable of Two Debtors (Luke 7:40-50)
Luke 7:40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. (KJV)
And Jesus answering said unto him . . . Jesus, being God omniscient, knew not only the character and lifestyle of this woman, which were publicly known by all, but also the secret thoughts and reasoning of the Pharisee, and gives an answer, which shows that He really was a Prophet (Deut.18:15,18), in the sense of this man; much more than a prophet!
Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee . . . this is not Simon Peter, as some have suggested; for the answer is made to the Pharisee, and he is the person addressed by the name of Simon; the same Simon into whose house Christ entered, and now was, as appears from verse 44.
And he saith, Master . . . or teacher, or doctor or Rabbi; which was the common salutation of doctors.
Say on . . . was a way of speaking used by the Jews, telling Him to proceed in speaking
Luke 7:41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. (KJV)
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors, the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty . . . a certain creditor, a man who had lent money or sold property, the payment for which was yet due. Five hundred pence which is about $70.00. Fifty pence is about $7.00. (Mat.18:28)
Luke 7:42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? (KJV)
And when they had nothing to pay . . . neither debtor could pay. The lesson for us: we ALL are sinners, we are spiritually bankrupt and as a beggar, poor, wretched and miserable. We have nothing to offer payment it cannot discharge a former debt. Sin is committed against an eternal Being, and is in some sense an immeasurable debt, requiring infinite satisfaction, which a finite creature can NEVER give, and he is therefore liable to a prison, and that forever (Hell), but thank You Jesus for the wonderful grace of God, the Creditor!
He frankly forgave them both . . . He openly absolved both of their whole debts, with no regard to any merits of theirs, or any conditions to be performed by them, but purely of His sovereign will, free grace and rich mercy.
Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most . . . which of the two should love him most? Tell me.
Luke 7:43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. (KJV)
Simon answered and said, I suppose, that he to whom he forgave most . . . without hesitation, not being aware of the application of it, to the instance he had been pondering in his mind:
it was his opinion, and to him a plain case, that he that owed the largest debt, and that being forgiven him fully and freely, as he was under the greatest obligation, so he should show the greatest love and affection to his kind and gracious creditor.
And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged . . . this is the correct judgment of the case.
Luke 7:44 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. (KJV)
And he turned to the woman . . . that stood behind Him at His Feet,
And said to Simon, Seest thou this woman? . . . and what she has done?
I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet . . . Jesus had come, being invited by Simon, and therefore He might have expected the usual courtesies. To offer water to wash them was a common courtesy in those hot, dusty countries, where walking with only sandals, the feet needed washing often; and which was very refreshing, and was not only used to travellers and strangers, but to guests, and was usually done by the servants of the house. See verse 38.
But she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head . . . the tears of her eyes had made a bath for His Feet, and with her hair, she used instead of a towel, when Simon gave Him neither water to wash with, nor a towel to wipe with.
Luke 7:45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. (KJV)
Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman, since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet . . . a token of courtesy and respect among friends, when they met together on any occasion was to be greeted with a kiss. The Jews have a saying, that all kisses are foolish, except three; the kiss of grandeur or dignity (1 Sam.10:1), and the kiss at parting (Ruth 1:14), and the kiss at meeting (Ex.4:27), of which sort this kiss may be thought to be. Some add the kiss used by relatives to one another (Gen.29:11).
Luke 7:46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. (KJV)
Mine head with oil thou didst not anoint . . . with common oil, so usually done at feasts, see (Ps.23:5).
But this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment . . . there is, throughout the whole account, a direct opposition between the conduct of Simon and this woman: Simon gave Jesus no water to wash His Feet with, she shed floods of tears, and with them bathed His Feet, and then wiped them clean with the hairs of her head. Simon did not give Him the usual greeting by kissing his head, but she kissed His Feet, over and over again. Simon did not so much as anoint his head with common oil, when she anointed His Feet with costly ointment brought in an alabaster box.
Luke 7:47 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. (KJV)
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much . . . not because she had washed Christ's feet with tears, and wiped them with her hair, and kissed and anointed them, therefore her sins were forgiven . . . but because she had great love for Jesus. She was like the largest debtor in the above parable, which owed five hundred pence, yet the whole score was cleared . . . her sins were numerous, yet they all were fully and freely forgiven.
But to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little . . . this is the other part of the parable, and is aimed directly at Simon, the Pharisee, whose debts, in his own opinion, were few or none, at least ten times less than this sinful woman, and he had little or no idea of the forgiveness of them, or of any responsibility to Christ on that account. Simon was very frugal with his love and respect, and even of common courtesies to Jesus.
Luke 7:48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. (KJV)
And he saith unto her, Thy sins are forgiven . . . Jesus now speaks to the woman that now stood before Him. He said this partly because of the Pharisee, to let him see, that Jesus knew this woman, what she was and had been; that she had been a great sinner, but was now forgiven, washed, cleansed, sanctified and justified, and therefore not to be shunned and avoided . . . and partly because of the woman, that she might KNOW her sins were forgiven, for her comfort and peace, under the severe criticism and disapproval of the Pharisee, and that her faith might be strengthened. I also think because of Jesus too, to show that He was not only a Prophet that had extraordinary knowledge of persons and their character, but that He WAS and IS the most high God, to Whom belonged the privilege of pardoning sin.
Luke 7:49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? (KJV)
And they that sat at meat with him . . . other Pharisees that sat at Simon's table with Jesus, whom he had also invited as guests, on this occasion of seeing and speaking with Jesus; and/or some of Simon's family, that sat down to eat with him.
Began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? . . . thought and reasoned in their own minds, or whispered among themselves. They were not content to disobey the traditions of the elders, by admitting a sinful woman to touch Him, but assumes that to Himself which is characteristic ONLY to God, to forgive sin. This they said, not as wondering at Him, what manner of Person He must be, that with such authority pronounced the forgiveness of sin, but instead they were offended with him, and filled with indignation against Him, and so censuring and rebuking Him for wickedness and blasphemy.
Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. (KJV)
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee . . . aside from the Pharisee's contempt, both of Him and her, Jesus abundantly blesses the woman with these words! Her faith in Jesus brought about blessings like a flood: redemption, pardon, righteousness and eternal life from Him, along with the joys and comforts of these. Her faith had prepared her, and she was now fit for eternal glory and happiness. We too can have these same abundant and never ending blessings . . . the same way this sinful woman did . . . FAITH in Jesus!
Go in peace . . . of conscience and serenity of mind, with nothing to disturb thee! This is very relevant for our day. If you have never asked the Lord Jesus for forgiveness, you are lost in sin! This woman did not have ANY good works to her credit (like us), but she believed in the Lord Jesus, she trusted Christ, she asked for forgiveness and she got it! Go in Peace: (Judg.18:6; 1 Sam.1:17; 20:42; 29:7; 2 Sam.15:9; Jam.2:16).
Faith has always been the instrument of receiving the salvation which is promised to those who repent. When we repent . . . turn around and go the other way . . . we can go in peace.
Gospel of Luke
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9 . . ch.10 . . ch.11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16 . . ch.17 . . ch.18 . .ch.19. . ch.20 . . ch.21 . . ch.22 . . ch.23 . . ch.24