Bible Study Notes on Luke 7:1-23 – 20180604

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Bible Study Notes

Luke 7:1  “…when He concluded…He entered Capernaum”
Wonder if this is an indication that He was not far outside Capernaum when He gave the sermon on the mount.  Commentaries didn’t mention it.  Could be, but doesn’t have to be.  Same problem.  Writing a chain of events from different memories.

3  “…he sent elders of the Jews to Him…”
This part of the story not mentioned in Matthew.  But not surprising.  The man was a Gentile.  Being a Roman soldier he could have done whatever he wished.  But it says he cared for the nation so he was probably being respectful.

6-7  “…centurion sent friends to Him…I did not even think myself worthy to come to You…”
Matthew records the incident, but his account differs somewhat.  He says the Centurion himself comes to Jesus, not friends.  And he leaves out the part of the leaders coming first.  Noticed similar omissions in another incident Matthew and Luke both record.  Considering the method of conveying the stories, it’s really not surprising.  Matthew was probably writing from his own recollection as well as from Peter’s recorded in Mark.  Luke was writing from eyewitness accounts, probably multiple.  If what you remembered was what was said and done, you might forget who actually said what.  Luke’s account may be more accurate as far as the specific players, but both accounts show the issue of the faith of the Centurion.  As I’ve realized before, several times, this is another reason we have multiple accounts and should read them all to get a clearer picture.

11  “…a city called Nain…”
Appears to be southeast of Nazareth and southwest of the Sea of Galilee.  Checking a map.  Didn’t realize Nazareth was as far from the Sea of Galilee.  Was thinking it was close to Capernaum which is on the coast.  Guess I’d never really looked.  Looks to be about fifteen miles or so west southwest of the Sea.  If Jesus got to Nain the day after being in Capernaum, He did some walking.

12  “…only son of his mother; and she was a widow…”
Especially grievous.  Being a widow, she had lost her means of support.  Now that her son was dead, she had no one to turn to.

13  “…He had compassion on her…”
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  Just because He wants us to live the truth doesn’t mean He doesn’t understand how weak and fragile and clueless we are.  He deals with us through His great love and compassion for us.  Even though we get some things a bit off center, He deals with us as with children, knowing we’ll understand more as we grow in Him.

15  “So he who was dead sat up …”
I love the frankness of that statement.  Jesus spoke to him so he sat up.  No hesitation, no argument, no mystical mumbo jumbo.  He was dead, Jesus told him to get up, and he got up.  Instant obedience even from a dead man.  Heard a minister speak to this situation.  The people thought the truth was that the man was dead.  But Jesus is the truth.  The truth is whatever He says it is.  He spoke, and the man’s condition immediately changed.  We need the same view of everything in our life.  No matter what we see, we remember that Jesus is the truth.  Nothing is over until Jesus has His say.

16  “…A great prophet has risen up…”
Old Testament told of God using Elisha to raise the dead, so the concept wasn’t totally foreign to the people.  It just didn’t happen every day, and probably hadn’t happened to anyone in a very long time.  Not surprising they thought God had raised up another prophet as He did years before.

19  “…Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another”
Seems a bit odd for John to be asking this question.  He was the one who declared Jesus was the lamb of God.  Why the change?  I think a couple of things.  John was in prison.  His outlook on everything was probably fairly dismal.  Second, I’m sure He was just like everyone else in his belief about what the Messiah was going to do.  He expected Jesus to fulfill all of the prophecies including the ones about Him becoming an earthly king.  But now he hears Jesus is only going around preaching and healing people, not raising an army or gathering a large following or even openly proclaiming Himself to be the Messiah.  This didn’t fit with the accepted idea of what the Messiah was to be or do.

23  “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
Always seemed a bit harsh to me until I realized what Jesus was saying.  He understood John’s state of mind.  The items He told the men to report on are things the scriptures told the Messiah would do, so He’s presenting proof.  And His statement about offense is to tell John not to lose hope or faith in Him.  He is doing exactly what He is supposed to be doing.  All things will work out as they should.  Tell John I am the Messiah, and I’m doing everything I need to.  Don’t lose hope, and you’ll understand at the end.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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