Setting

Jesus had concluded His sayings and began to go from one place after another to carry out His ministry. In this lesson, we see Jesus meeting the needs of various individuals and grasping every opportunity to teach the people important truths. Typical of this Gospel, Luke focuses on Jesus’ interest in people. At the same time, he also takes note of the different responses to the Lord’s words and deeds.

Key Verse

(7:22-23)

Did You Know...?

1. Elders of the Jews (7:3): highly respected Jews of the community, though not necessarily rulers of the synagogue. [ref]
2. Denarii (7:41): A denarius was worth about a day’s wage.

Outline

  • The Centurion’s Faith
    (7:1-10)
  • Raising the Widow’s Son
    (7:11-17)
  • Jesus and John the Baptist
    (7:18-35)
  • Anointed by A Sinful Woman
    (7:36-50)

Segment Analysis

  • 7:1-10

    1a.

    On what basis did the elders beg for Jesus’ help?

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    See verse 4.

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  • 1b.

    How is this different from the approach of the centurion?

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    While the elders believed that the centurion was deserving, the centurion himself did not think that he was worthy (6).

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  • 2.

    In what ways did the centurion show his great faith?

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  • 3.

    Explain the centurion’s words in verse 8.

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    Just as the words of a superior carries authority, the Lord’s words must also have authority. In other words, Jesus could surely heal the servant by issuing a command without going to the centurion’s house.

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  • 4.

    How did Jesus heal the servant? What does this demonstrate about Jesus? (cf. Mt 8:13)

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    Being Himself the Almighty God, the Lord Jesus is able to do the impossible just by His word, and the power of His words goes beyond spatial confines.

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  • 5.

    What is significant about Jesus’ comment in verse 9?

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    The grace of God also goes to Gentiles who have faith in the Lord Jesus.

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  • 7:11-17

    6.

    Record what it is about this miracle that moves you.

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    Note the pitiful condition of the woman and the Lord’s compassionate heart, words, and action.

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  • 7.

    How is this miracle different from, and in a way greater than, the other miracles we have read thus far?

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    This is the first recorded miracle in Luke of raising the dead to life. It demonstrates Jesus’ power over death. It will also serve to bear witness to Jesus (22).

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  • 8.

    What impact did this miracle have on the people?

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    See 16-17.

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  • 7:18-35

    9.

    Where was John at this time? (cf. 3:19-20)

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  • 10.

    Why do you think John began to have questions about whom Jesus was?

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    John might have expected the Messiah to bring about immediate judgment (cf. 3:17). In such case, seeing his own condition in prison and that deliverance was nowhere in sight might have led to his question about who Jesus really was.

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  • 11.

    What was the point of Jesus’ response in 22? (cf. Isa 35:5-6; 61:1)

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    The healing and preaching ministry of Jesus spoke for Him and testified that He was the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies.

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  • 12.

    Explain 23. How does this apply to us?

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    Those who have false expectations of Christ’s work may be “offended” (also translated as “fall away”) when He doesn’t meet these expectations. For example, some may come to Christ only expecting Him to provide material abundance or physical well-being, and they become disappointed and fall away when their expectations are not met. Jesus reminded the people that the evidence had clearly demonstrated that He was the Messiah. Blessed are those who accept Him based on God’s testimony rather than their own expectations.

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  • 13.

    How can we regain our faith in Christ when harsh circumstances make us question His love and power?

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    Recall the work of God in your life and how He has always been faithful in keeping His promises (just as John was asked to consider the works of Jesus and restore his faith). With this renewed conviction in Christ’s love and power, wait patiently for God, who will carry out His good will in His time.

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  • 14.

    What did Jesus mean by “he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he”?

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    Those who accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and come into God’s kingdom are more blessed than even the prophets of the past, for they are able to see and hear what the prophets could not (cf. Mt 13:16 17; 1Pet 1:10-12). Jesus’ statement, ho ever, does not mean that John or the other prophets are excluded from God’s kingdom (cf. 13:28). Rather, it is a reference to the new age ushered in by Jesus’ ministry.

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  • 15.

    Explain the reactions of the two groups of people in 29 and 30.

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    The people, even the tax collectors, “acknowledged that God’s way was right” (NIV). In other words, they glorified God, having accepted the ministries of John and Jesus. The Pharisees and lawyers, on the contrary, refused to comply with the messengers of God and thereby reject the way of God.

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  • 16.

    What does the parable in 32 illustrate?

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    The men of that generation did not accept John’s preaching or repentance. Neither did they accept the good news of the kingdom. Instead, they charged Jesus with gluttony and winebibbing. Whether it was John’s call to repentance or Jesus’ grace of forgiveness, the people remained indifferent and unresponsive.

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  • 17.

    Explain verse 35 according to its context.

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    The children of wisdom are those who accept God’s will, such as the people mentioned in 29. Their acknowledgment of the ministries of John and Jesus is an evidence that John and Jesus are messengers of God sent to preach the way of wisdom.

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  • 7:36-50

    18a.

    Luke records the woman’s actions in detail. According to Jesus, what motivated her actions?

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    Her great love, which came from a sense of being indebted to the Lord (41-43, 47).

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  • 18b.

    In contrast to the woman, what do we know about Simon the Pharisee from his thoughts (39) and inaction (44-47)?

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    His judgmental attitude shows that he was self-righteous. He did not think that he needed much forgiveness, and as a result, he showed little love.

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  • 19.

    What important teaching can you learn from Jesus’ parable in 41- 42 about what motivates us to love the Lord?

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  • 20.

    What does the woman’s action teach us about how we should love the Lord?

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    Giving Him our best; drawing close to Him; serving Him with utmost humility.

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  • 21.

    Why were the woman’s sins forgiven? Does 47 teach that she was forgiven on the basis of her love for the Lord?

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    While in 47 Jesus attributed His great forgiveness to the woman’s love, this does not suggest that she earned the Lord’s forgiveness with her actions. Rather, it was her faith that saved her (50). Her love was simply an act of faith in the Lord’s mercy. The apostle John reminds us, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1Jn 4:19). Therefore, the sole basis of forgiveness is the Lord’s love, and faith, not actions, is the means by which we receive this love.

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  • 22.

    Jesus said to the woman “Your faith has saved you.” What can we learn from this story about the meaning of faith?

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    Faith means knowing our need for forgiveness and coming to Christ humbly to receive His mercy, realizing that we are not worthy of the Lord’s love.

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