Luke 7 – Have You Been Forgiven Much?

Jesus heals a Roman Centurion’s servant and brings back to life a young man who had died! John the Baptist wants this miracle worker to get him out of jail.

Jesus reminds the crowd that John prepared the way for the Messiah.

An immoral woman demonstrates tremendous gratitude to Jesus by washing his feet with her tears and perfume. The people were offended by her whereas Jesus offers her hope and forgives her.

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Message Notes:

In Luke 7, just after Jesus taught about the type of fruit we produce with our lives and what comes out of our mouth is either good or evil depending on what is in our heart, we see Jesus heal Roman Centurion’s servant and bring back to life a young man who had died.  

Jesus is demonstrating the power within this New Kingdom, and the people were amazed.

Well that is most of the people. The religious leaders were becoming more and more concerned with the popularity of Jesus, and his cousin, John the Baptist was also concerned but for a different reason. If Jesus was the Messiah who can heal the sick and bring the dead back to life, why hasn’t he freed John from the prison in which Herod had placed him?

Jesus wisely speaks with discretion and with boldness. He doesn’t need to take the unnecessary risk saying explicitly: “I am Yahweh here with you! I am God in the flesh!”

Instead, he does what only God can do – he heals people in miraculous and dramatic ways and forgives people!

Jesus then reminds the crowd of John the Baptist, his teaching, and his purpose – to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.

And even with such an important role and how great he has been, John the Baptist cannot even compare to the least of us in Christ’s New Kingdom!

Jesus was invited over for dinner into the home of a prominent religious leader, a Pharisee named Simon (possibly even Judas’ father who had been healed of leprosy). During dinner, a woman known for her immorality comes to the house with an alabaster jar of perfume. Uninvited, she comes in, washes his feet with her kisses and tears, then takes down her hair which no self-respecting proper woman would do and dries his feet with his hair, and then pours the expensive perfume on his feet. 

Now, washing people’s feet before dinner was a common practice by the servants as their feet were dirty from traveling around in their sandals. Of course, pavement, cars, and tennis shoes had not yet been invented. But what this sinful woman was doing went far beyond the common practice. 

The hosts and the others at the party are frustrated, embarrassed, and probably angry at this woman and at Jesus for letting her even do this. 

Jesus shares an analogy of two people whose debts were forgiven and how the one who owed more would naturally share more gratitude. Then to the astonishment of all, Jesus says: “Your sins are forgiven…. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:48, 50)

As scholar and historian N.T. Wright explains in his book Luke for Everyone: “True faith is when someone looks at Jesus and discovers God’s forgiveness; and the sign and proof of this faith is love.”

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