In Luke 7, Jesus healed a Centurion's servant, raised a widow's son from the dead, and commended John the Baptist. He also taught Simon about forgiveness.
A centurion was a Roman officer who commanded 100 men. Centurions are spoken of favorably in the New Testament. The centurion Cornelius was a God fearing man who saw an angel, and was the first Gentile Christian (Acts 10). A centurion at the cross exclaimed "Surely, he was the son of God!" (Matthew 27:54).
The centurion of Luke 7 had a servant who was paralyzed, suffering terribly, and about to die (Matthew 8:6, Luke 7:2). This centurion had exemplary faith. He understood that if Jesus simply spoke the healing command, it would be done (Luke 7:6).
Luke 7 Outline
Jesus reward’s a centurion’s faith
Jesus raises a widow’s dead son
John the Baptist: Questions and Commendations
John’s disciples question Jesus
Jesus commends John the Baptist
Jesus teaches Simon the Pharisee about forgiveness
Penitent woman anoints Jesus
Parable of the forgiven debtors
Jesus forgives the woman
Jesus emphasized the importance of forgiveness. Six times Luke chapter 7 contains the words "forgave", "forgiven", and "forgives" (Luke 7:42-43. 47-49).
William Barclay, a Scottish commentator, wrote, "We must be clear about one thing regarding forgiveness. It is not so much the remission of penalty as the restoration of a relationship." The parable of the Prodigal Son demonstrates this principle (Luke 15:11-32). The father forgave his penitent son and restored the relationship they shared.
Receiving forgiveness is dependent on possessing a forgiving spirit. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Matthew 6:14-15).
- The Centurion in Luke 7 financed the construction of the synagogue in Capernaum (Luke 7:5).
- John the Baptist had disciples. Before he followed Jesus, Andrew was a disciple of John (John 1:35-40).