Luke Chapter 7
In our reading today, we discover three things that characterized the ministry of Jesus – authority, compassion, and forgiveness.
Could it really be true? There was something that could cause Jesus, the Son of God, to marvel. That is exactly what Luke 7:9 tells us, “When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him …” The Roman centurion had sent the Jewish elders to plead on his behalf. He had a servant, whom he loved, that was very sick, and the centurion was asking that Jesus would heal him. Realizing his own unworthiness, the centurion sent a message telling Jesus not to come but to “speak the word, “ and he knew that his servant would be healed. Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith. The centurion, being a man under authority, realized Jesus had the authority to speak, and whatever the circumstances, change would occur. The servant was healed.
She was just a little widow burying her only son, but Jesus took notice. Without the support from her son, this widow would have to beg for her bread. He was indeed her everything in life. Jesus, seeing this burial procession, was moved with compassion toward her. Compassion means more than feeling sorry for another. Compassion moves one to act on behalf of another. Jesus touched the bier, spoke the word, and the young man was raised to life and returned to his mother.
She had no hope. She was a sinner. We do not even know her name. The Pharisee held her in disdain. How could Jesus, who was supposed to be a prophet, allow this woman of disrepute to touch him? After all, she had interrupted the dinner. She was weeping, wiping the feet of Jesus with her hair, kissing his feet, and anointing them. Jesus’ word to the Pharisee was in the form of a story and a question. Jesus’ word to this woman was “your sins are forgiven” (Luke 9:48). She who was forgiven of much loved much.
Jesus speaks the word, and the sick are healed! Jesus shows up at a funeral and turns it into a celebration! Jesus, though the sins are many, forgives! Let us trust him today!