Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.CHAPTER 7
1. The Centurion’s Servant Healed. (Luke 7:1-10.) 2. The Widow’s Son Raised from the Dead. (Luke 7:11-17) 3. John’s Questions and the Answer. (Luke 7:18-23) 4. The Testimony Concerning John. (Luke 7:24-29) 5. The Unreasonableness of Unbelief. (Luke 7:30-35.) 6. The Woman With the Alabaster Box. (Luke 7:36-40) 7. The Parable of the Two Debtors. (Luke 7:41-50.)
2. The Widow’s Son Raised from the Dead. (Luke 7:11-17)
3. John’s Questions and the Answer. (Luke 7:18-23)
4. The Testimony Concerning John. (Luke 7:24-29)
5. The Unreasonableness of Unbelief. (Luke 7:30-35.)
6. The Woman With the Alabaster Box. (Luke 7:36-40)
7. The Parable of the Two Debtors. (Luke 7:41-50.)
In Matthew the healing of the Centurion’s servant comes after the healing of the leper. It teaches there the dispensational lesson, that the Gentiles would enter the Kingdom and the children of the Kingdom would be cast out into the outer darkness. As Luke writes for another purpose he omits Matthew 8:11-12. Luke tells us that the Centurion sent the Jewish Elders first; when on the road to the Centurion’s house, the friends of the Centurion with the message of unworthiness, met the Lord. Some have tried to explain these differences by making the two accounts, two different miracles. This is not the case at all. The account given by Matthew is more fully explained by Luke. The Centurion first sent messengers to our Lord, and afterwards he came to speak to Him in person. Matthew relates the personal interview and Luke the message. “Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed,” is a marvelous utterance of faith. The Centurion owned Him as Lord of all, with power over all. To him He is the Creator with omnipotent power. And the Lord marvelled at him. It is an evidence of His true humanity. Twice He marvelled; here at faith and in Mark 6:6 at unbelief.
The account of the raising of the widow’s son is peculiar to Luke. The story brings out the deep compassion of the Son of Man and that is why it is exclusively reported in the third Gospel. The only son of a widow had died. Here is human sorrow in the fullest sense. A widow losing her only son, her only support. He had compassion on her. How human and filled with sympathy were His words “Weep not.” And the second Word He spoke in touching the bier was “Arise.” And when the young man came back to life, He delivered him to his mother. “Weep not!” the word of His sympathy; “Arise” the word of His power. No wonder that the people declared, “God hath visited His people.” Elijah raised the son of a widow, but he had to humble himself and had to cry to the Lord. Elisha also raised the son of the Shunamite, but only after having stretched himself over the child. But the Lord commands and death has to release its prey at the one word. The Second Man has power to deal with sin and death and man’s need is fully met.
John, perplexed with doubt, sends to Him two of his disciples. “Honest doubt never stays away from Christ, but comes to Him for solution.” The disciples beheld the miracles the Lord did at that time. Then when John had evidently made shipwreck of his witness bearing, the Lord bears witness to him. He declares the greatness of his person. (Luke 7:27-28). All this is recorded in Matthew 11:2-15; but Luke gives an interesting addition. Two classes of people stood there. The people who had heard John, accepted his message of repentance and who had been baptized. They and the tax-gatherers justified God. The leaders of the nation rejected the counsels of God against them, they had testified to that by not being baptized by John.
The balance of this chapter is again peculiar to Luke. He is seen as the friend of sinners, who had come to seek and save that which is lost. Beautiful sight this woman so sinful, standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, so that she wet His feet with her tears! This incident must not be confounded with the similar one reported by Matthew, Mark and John; nor was the woman Mary Magdalene. She seeks shelter with her burdened soul at the feet of Him, whom the proud Pharisees called “a friend of publicans and sinners.” How great must have been His compassion, how marvelous His lovingkindness, that a woman could come thus in His presence. The loveliness and attractiveness of the perfect Man as the friend of sinners is here fully seen. And the proud host, the Pharisee Simon, doubts that He is a prophet, for would He then not know what kind of a woman she is! The Son of Man at once gives him the evidence of His omniscience. Not alone does He know who the woman is, but He also knows the unspoken thoughts of Simon. The parable the Lord gives to Simon explains the great love of the woman, much had been forgiven her. The consciousness of that forgiveness had produced these blessed actions of the woman. And once more she hears from the lips of the Friend of Sinners, what countless thousands have heard spoken to their hearts by His Spirit; “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”