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The 500 and 50 Pence (Luke 7)

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Luke 7

A Centurion’s servant cured
After he had ended all his sayings in the ears of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 2 And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear to him, was sick and at the point of death. 3 And when he heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, pleading with him to come and heal his servant. 4 And they, when they came to Jesus, pleaded earnestly, saying: He is worthy to have you do this for him, 5 for he loves our nation and he built our synagogue. 6 And Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him: Lord, trouble not yourself. For I am not worthy that you should come under my roof; 7 therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to you. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I also am a man under authority, having under myself soldiers; and I say to one: Go! And he goes. And to another: Come! And he comes. And to my servant: Do this. And he does it. 9 And when Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that followed him: I say to you, I have not found so great a faith, not even in Israel. 10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant healed.

Jesus raises a dead man
   11 And it came to pass soon afterwards, that he went to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 Now when he came near to the gate of the city, there was carried out one that was dead, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and many people of the city were with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her: Weep not. 14 And he came near and touched the coffin; and the bearers stood still. And he said: Young man, I say to you, arise. 15 And he that was dead sat up and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. 16 And fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying: A great prophet has arisen among us, and God has visited His people! 17 And this report about him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.

Jesus gives His opinion about John
   18 And the disciples of John told him of all these things. 19 And John calling to himself two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, asking: Are you he that comes, or look we for another? 20 And when the men came to him, they said: John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask: Are you he that comes, or do we look for another? 21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and illnesses and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. 22 And he answered and said to them: Go and tell John the things which you have seen and heard. The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the good news preached to them. 23 And blessed is he, whoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me.
   24 And when the messengers of John had departed, he began to say to the crowds concerning John: What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 25 But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Look, they that are gorgeously apparelled and live delicately, are in kings' courts. 26 But what went you out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and much more than a prophet. 27 This is he of whom it is written: Look, I send My messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way before you. 28 I say to you, among those that are born of women- there is none greater than John. Yet he that is but little in the kingdom of God is greater than he. 29 When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they acknowledged God's justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected for themselves the counsel of God, being not baptized by him.
   31 And the Lord said: Unto whom shall I liken the men of this generation, and to what are they like? 32 They are like children that sit in the marketplace and call to each other, who say: We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep. 33 For John the Baptist came eating no bread nor drinking wine, and you say: He has a demon. 34 The Son of Man comes eating and drinking, and you say: Behold a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! 35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.

Jesus at the home of Simon
   36 And one of the Pharisees requested him to eat with him. And he entered into the Pharisee's house and sat down to the meal. 37 And a woman who was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that he was dining in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee that had invited him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying: This man, if he were a prophet, would have perceived who and what manner of woman this is that touches him, that she is a sinner. 40 And Jesus answering said to him: Simon, I have something to say to you. And he said: Teacher, speak. 41 A certain lender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii and the other fifty. 42 When they had nothing with which to pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most? 43 Simon answered and said: He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most. And he said to him: You have rightly judged. 44 And turning to the woman, he said to Simon: Saw you this woman? I entered into your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wetted my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 My head with oil you did not anoint, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I say to you, that her sins, which are many, are forgiven (for she loved much). But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. 48 And he said to her: Your sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at food with him began to say within themselves: Who is this that even forgives sins? 50 And he said to the woman: Your faith has saved you. Go into peace.



7:6 I am not worthy- But the people said openly that he was “worthy” (v. 4). Even if others think and speak well of us, let us not think that we are worthy of Jesus; but always maintain our sense of sinfulness and humility before Him.

7:14 To touch coffins or dead bodies made a person unclean under Jewish law; but Jesus touched lepers and now touched the coffin to show His identification with the unclean. Those who realize they too are unclean will be comforted by this.

7:19 This could imply a collapse of faith in John. He doubted whether his cousin Jesus really was Messiah as he had earlier taught; because Jesus wasn’t acting as he had expected Messiah to act. God and Jesus are not to be defined by our expectations of them; but we are to accept them for who they present themselves to be in reality. Hence Jesus sent a message back to John warning him that blessed is that man who doesn’t stumble over Jesus (v. 23). The Bible records the failings of great men of faith. There are no white faced saints. Although John was weak at this point, Jesus goes on to speak very positively of him in v. 28. We should also be positive about each other despite being aware of each others’ weaknesses.

7:30 if we refuse to be baptized, this is what we are doing.

7:32 The children invited other children to play sad funerals, and they refused; so they asked them to play happy weddings, and they still refused. God appealed to all kinds of people through the different style of Jesus and John; but the Jews refused to really respond.

7:35 All her children- Both the converts of Jesus and of John.

7:43 The point is that we are all sinners and so the amount we owe is really the degree to which we perceive our sinfulness. The more we realize our sins, the more we will love Jesus for forgiving us.

7:44 Jesus therefore spoke with His back to Simon. He was being intentionally rude to His host to emphasize the degree to which He accepted and respected that repentant woman.

7:48 She already knew this, without Jesus having told her, because she loved Him so much. And He observed that her love was because she had been forgiven so much. When we are forgiven, we’re not always told so directly by Jesus; but we feel it, as she did.