June 6, 2015.
Daily Reading: Luke 7-8.
Background: Luke 5-6.
Concepts and Connections.
1. The centurion’s servant and the widow’s son: There are two stories of Jesus’ healing in this chapter. The story of the centurion’s servant is very unique and interesting in different regards. What might be surprising from the beginning of the story is how the centurion was spoken of by the people. Take note that this was a Roman solider, the nation that was in control of the known world at the time. They weren’t necessarily the most loved of the people. This particular centurion, however, was very well liked by the people, as it seemed that he showed a genuine interest and care for the people and their religion, even building their synagog for them. It is one of the few, if not the only story where Jesus is implored to heal someone by people on the account of his character. What’s perhaps even more interesting, however, is the centurion’s response when Jesus is coming to heal his servant. He sends word to Jesus telling Him that he is not even worthy for Jesus to come under his roof, but if He would only say the word, the servant would be healed. The centurion used his knowledge and experience of being in authority to understand Jesus’ supernatural authority, and his faith was phenomenal, so much so that Jesus said He had not found such a faith even in Israel (who were the chosen people of God).may we ever learn to imitate this man’s faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The second story of healing is that of the widow’s son who had died. When Jesus, His disciples and a great crowd came to a town called Nain, there was a man, the son of a widow, who had died being carried out. When Jesus say the widow, He had compassion on her and raised her son from the dead. Note that this woman had not come to Jesus and specifically asked Him to raise her son, but rather they had just seen her on the way. After He had raised the man, the whole crowd glorified God.
2. John the baptizer: Jesus’ fame was beginning to be spread both near and far in the regions surrounding where He was doing His ministry, and eventually word came to John the baptizer about what Jesus was doing. John sends messengers to ask Jesus if He was the one that was to come (the Christ) or if they should be looking for another. Instead of simply affirming that He was the one, Jesus told them to go tell John what they had seen- the miracles of Jesus just as promised in the prophets (see Isaiah 29:18, 35:5-6). This was to affirm His testimony as true. When John’s disciples had left, Jesus discussed John with the crowd, asking them what they went out to see, or rather, what did they expect to see and why were they surprised when they saw what they should have expected. He confirmed that John was the messenger that was sent to go before the Christ (see Malachi 3:1), and said that of those born of women, there is none greater than John. At least not at the time, as He would continue that the least in the kingdom, which had yet to be established, would be greater than John.
3. A sinful woman forgiven: The final story of this chapter is of a sinful woman who is forgiven while teaching a certain pharisee a lesson. Simon the Pharisee invited Jesus over to eat with him. When Jesus came, they reclined at the table and ate, but a sinful woman came in and washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and dried them with her hair. All Simon could think about, however, was the fact that she was a sinner and that if Jesus was truly a prophet, He would have known that. Of course, Jesus did know what the woman had done, as well as the heart of Simon. He gives a story to better depict forgiveness to Simon and then sends the woman on her way, saying that her sins had been forgiven. This did not make the Pharisees happy, for they know the implications of this statement, which basically placed Jesus on the level of God.
1. Parables: There are a couple of parables given in this chapter, along with an explanation as to why Jesus spoke in parables. For details on the parable of the sower and the purpose of parables, see Matthew 13:1-15. Jesus then goes on to teach a lesson about lighting a lamp, showing that it would not make sense to light a lamp and then hide is. Just as that would not make sense, so also would it not make sense for the power and story of the Christ to be hid. Jesus also shows His priorities, placing the spiritual family above His physical family.
2. Power of Jesus: Toward the latter end of this chapter, the power of Jesus is once again made manifest in three different ways. The first was a demonstration of Jesus’ power over nature, when He calmed a storm by a simple phrase, astounding those around Him, even through they had seen Him do so many great and miraculous things. The second was a display of Jesus’ power over the spiritual realm, by Him casting out many demons from a man (see Matthew 8:28-34 and Mark 5:1-21 for further details). The third display of Jesus power was His dominion over the physical world and even death, as He healed the woman with an issue of blood and raised Jairus’ daughter. Both of these people had great faith in Jesus.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ephesians 4-6.
Have faith in Jesus.