Luke Chapter 7
Luke 7:1 “Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.”
The mount where Jesus had just preached was very near the Sea of Galilee; and Capernaum where Peter’s home was, was by the side of the sea, as well. These 2 places are very near, in fact, just a few miles apart.
Luke 7:2 “And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.”
“Centurion’s servant”: The centurion’s tender concern for a lowly slave was contrary to the reputation Roman army offices had acquired in Israel. Yet, this is one of 3 centurions featured in the New Testament who gave evidence of genuine faith.
A centurion was like a captain over about 100 men. He was probably in the Roman legion. This centurion here, and probably the same person in Matthew, is the first mention of a person with this rank.
The servant was loved by this centurion. Possibly, he was his aide or something. Many times, a servant living in your home becomes like a member of the family. That is probably what is intended here.
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.”
“Elders of the Jews”: (Matthew 8:5-13), does not mention that the centurion appealed to Jesus through these intermediaries. It is a measure of the respect this man had in the community that Jewish elders would be willing to bring his cause to Jesus. He loved the Jewish nation and was somehow personally responsible for the building of the local synagogue (verse 5).
He obviously was being drawn to Christ by God Himself (John 6:44-45). Like all men under conviction, he deeply sensed his own unworthiness and that is why he used intermediaries rather than speaking to Jesus personally (verses 6-7).
This centurion had heard of all the wonderful miracles that Jesus had performed, and he believed that Jesus was no mere man. He felt that Jesus had powers beyond a normal man. He sent the elders to speak to Jesus, because he thought they would have more influence in getting Jesus to come to help his servant than he would.
This centurion believes that Jesus heals. He knows in his heart that Jesus will help his servant.
Luke 7:4-5 “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.”
These elders were from the synagogue. They would do just about anything for this centurion, because he loved these Hebrews and had even built them a synagogue. The person they were saying was worthy was not the servant, but the centurion.
It is even unusual for the elders to ask Jesus to heal as they really were not sure who He was. They brought this message, because the centurion asked them.
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:”
The centurion, undoubtedly familiar with this law, felt unworthy of having Jesus suffer such an inconvenience for his sake. He also had faith enough to know that Christ could heal by merely speaking a word.
This centurion was a humble man. He feels unworthy for Jesus to come into his house. This centurion realizes that Jesus is truly God the Son with all the power and authority of the Father. He was so humble that he sent friends that he thought to be more worthy than himself.
Luke 7:7-8 “Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.” “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].”
This centurion is not only humble, but very wise. He, more than the scribes that he sent or in fact more than most of the religious people of his day, realizes that Jesus has authority over everything in this universe. He believes that Jesus has authority over disease as well.
He knows that his authority over his men is minor compared to the authority of Jesus, but he does understand authority and how it works.
Luke 7:9 “When Jesus heard these things, he marveled 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.”
Jesus recognizes the magnitude of this centurion’s faith. Faith like this is the kind that moves mountains. In a sense, Jesus is saying to this people: “You should have this kind of faith”. He was especially speaking to these scribes who have no faith at all.
Luke 7:10 “And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.”
We know from this servant being in the house well that he had been a family servant who lived in the house. Jesus’ healing was an instant healing. Even before they got back to the house, he was healed; even though he had been sick to death.
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.”
“Nain” means pleasantness or beauty. This city of Nain was a small town Southeast of Nazareth, close to Capernaum. Jesus, at this time, had a large following wherever He went. Many followed to see the miracles, and others went to receive one for themselves.
His teachings were like none they had ever heard before, and this caused them to follow, as well. He brought a message of hope. This does not specifically mention which disciples, Peter, Andrew, James, and John had all come from this area originally.
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.”
We see here, a funeral procession. Jesus has come near 20 miles from Capernaum to be here just at this precise moment to help this widow in her great grief. This is her only son. You can imagine how truly grieved she is. The Scripture says he was dead.
Luke 7:13 “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.”
Jesus has great love for this woman in her grief. He tells her not to weep. He intends to help her. Jesus here, is called the Lord.
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.”
“Touched the bier”: (coffin) A ceremonially defiling act normally. Jesus graphically illustrated how impervious He was to such defilements. When He touched the coffin, its defilement did not taint Him; rather, His power immediately dispelled the presence of all death and defilement.
This was the first of 3 times Jesus raised people for the dead. (8:49-56; John 11:20-44).
(Verse 22), implies that “Christ also raised others who are not specifically mentioned.
A “bier” is like an open coffin with no lid. This shows that Jesus Christ has dominion over death. Just one touch from His hand does it all. Hebrew corpses were not embalmed. Jesus just speaks to the young man and says, “rise”; just as He spoke to Lazarus, and he came forth.
Luke 7:15 “And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.”
It does not say that he was asleep. It says he was dead. Jesus had dominion over death and life. Jesus delivered the young man to his mother. Can you imagine her joy!
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.”
This fear here, could be classified as reverence as well as fear. They suddenly realize that Jesus is more than man. They start to say that He is a great prophet, but they realize that He is even more than that and say that God has visited them. They know the priest in the temple cannot do this as this is no mere man.
Luke 7:17 “And this rumor of him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about.”
News like this is impossible to conceal. Word of mouth carries this news throughout the land.
Luke Chapter 7 Questions
1. Where did Jesus go immediately after the Sermon on the Mount?
2. Whose home was in Capernaum?
3. Who was sick and near to death?
4. What rank is a centurion similar to?
5. How many men would be under him?
6. Who is a centurion whose name is specifically given?
7. What is that centurion one of the first to do?
8. Why was this servant very dear to him?
9. Who did the centurion send to Jesus to speak for him?
10. Why did the centurion send to Jesus to help his servant?
11. Why did the centurion send the elders instead of going himself?
12. Why did the elders say this centurion was worthy?
13. Why had the elders come to Jesus when they really were not sure He could heal anyone?
14. What further act of humility did this centurion do just before Jesus got to his house?
15. This centurion knew that Jesus had all the power and authority of whom?
16. What kind of man could you call this centurion in one word?
17. This centurion had so much faith that he told Jesus all He had to do was what and the servant would be healed?
18. This centurion understood ___________ and how it works.
19. What does this centurion believe Jesus has power over?
20. When Jesus heard all the centurion said, what did He turn and say to the people?
21. When they returned to the house, how did they find the centurion’s servant?
22. When Jesus left the centurion, what city did He go into?
23. What does “Nain” mean?
24. Why did the people follow Him?
25. Which of the disciples lived in this area?
26. Who was the dead man Jesus came to see?
27. What was Jesus called in verse 13?
28. What does this show?
29. What did Jesus say to the mother?
30. What is a “bier”?
31. What is the difference in a Hebrew corpse and an Egyptian corpse?
32. What did Jesus say to the young, dead man?
33. What did the young man do?
34. Jesus has dominion over ______ and _______.
35. How did this happening affect the onlookers?
36. Who did they say Jesus was?
37. Who did they say had visited them?
38. Do you believe Jesus went to this much trouble just to help this one woman?