Luke 7.1-50 tells us about the healing of a Roman centurion’s servant; the raising of a widow’s son at Nain; answering an eschatological question by John about the concept of the Two Messiahs while John in prison; Yeshua’s endorsement of John as the forerunner of the Messiah; a dinner at the house of a Pharisee from Beit Shammai.
v 1…When he had completed all his discourse in the hearing of the people, he went to Capernaum (“village of the comforter” and a term for the Messiah).
v 2…And a certain centurion’s servant, who was highly regarded by him (being honest, faithful and a good servant), was sick and about to die (no human help or cure).
v 3…And when he heard about Yeshua, he sent some Jewish elders (from the local synagogue) asking him to come and save the life of his servant.
v 4…And when they had come to Yeshua, they earnestly (urgently) entreated (asked) him, saying, “He is worthy for you to grant this to him (according to the 18 Edicts of Beit Shammai);
v 5…for he loves our nation, and it as he who built us our synagogue.”
v 6…Now Yeshua went with them; and when he was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself further, for I am not fit for you to come under my roof (this was one of the 18 Edicts of Shammai from 20 BC. These edicts restricted associations between Jews and non-Jews, accepted by most Jews at the time. This was the basis for the Pharisaic opposition to Yeshua who did not comply with these edicts, sending his talmidim to the non-Jews. Cornelius in Acts 10 was a God-fearer and Peter was sent to him, and Peter mentions how it was not lawful according to these edicts to enter the home of Cornelius either-Acts 10.28. But a vision showed him that Yehovah was not against him doing so);
v 7…for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy (according to these edicts) to come to you, but just say the word and my servant will be healed.
v 8…For indeed, I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come” and he comes; and to y servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
v 9…And when Yeshua heard this, he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude that was following him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith (emunah or action).”
v 10…And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant in good health (as soon as the centurion voiced his faith-Matt 8.13).
v 11…And it came about that soon afterward, that he went to a city called Nain (beautiful, west of the sea of Galilee, south of Nazareth); and his talmidim were going along with him, accompanied b a large multitude.
v 12…Now as he approached the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out (for burial- they did not bury in cities), the only (Greek “monogenes” meaning “only” not “prototokos” meaning first of many) son (heir) of his mother. And she was a widow and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her (she had no earthly protection now, and many showed their respects).
v 13…And when the Lord saw her, he felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep (stop weeping-Luke 8.52).”
v 14…And he came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt (stood still). And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!”
v 15…And the dead man (he was not “asleep”) sat up (now he had life), and he began to speak ( he had his mental faculties). And he gave him back to his mother (for whose sake he was raised).
v 16…And fear gripped them all (shock and awe), and began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us (only Elijah and Elisha had ever raised the dead)!” and, “God has visited (cared for) his people (Gen 50.24-25 says “to take care of you or visit”-In Hebrew “Pikod Yifkod” used twice alluding to the two comings of the Messiah-Luke 1.68, 19.41-44)!”
v 17…And this report concerning him went out all over Judea, and in all the surrounding district (region).
v 18…And the talimidim of John reported to him about these things (what Yeshua was doing).
v 19…And summoning two of his talmidim, John sent to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is coming (the Messiah-Deut 18.15-18; Isa 53.1), or do we look for someone else (this is an eschatological question about the concept of the Two Messiahs.” By the time of John, there was an expectation of the Messiah. Jewish scholars had noticed that there were passages that seemed to contradict. Sometimes the Messiah is seen as a conquering king, but other passages speak about a suffering servant. From this came a teaching by the first century of a dual concept of the Messiah. The suffering servant Messiah was called the “Messiah Ben Joseph.” His life ends in death, unlike the conquering king Messiah called “Messiah Ben David.” Now, the anticipation of these two messiahs is the background for John’s question here. John knew Yeshua was the Messiah because Yehovah told him how to identify him. His question here is whether Yeshua was going to fulfill all the prophecies about the Messiah, or was there going to be another person, like the scholars were saying. Yehsua’s answer gives a passage referring to the Messiah Ben Joseph and some about the Messiah Ben David. So in short, Yeshua told John that he was going to fulfill all the Messianic prophecies, and they would apply only to one person in two comings, authenticating his identity. For more information on this concept see the book, “Rosh Ha Shanah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come” by Joseph Good, Hatikvah Ministries, p. 105)?”
v 20…And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist (Yocahnon ha Matvil) has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is coming, or do we look for someone else (in addition to you)?’ “
v 21…At that very time he cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and he granted sight to many who were blind.
v 22…And he answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up (Yeshua raised three people from the dead in total), the poor have the gospel (basar) preached to them.
v 23…And blessed (empowered to succeed) is he who keeps from stumbling over me (as if Yeshua was an obstacle, and fall away, or be offended).
v 24…And when the messengers of John had left, he began to speak to the multitudes about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind (a wavering man, moved by circumstances)?
v 25…But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing A light hearted flatterer, a “yes” man)? Behold, those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces.
v 26…But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes (the voice of Isa 40.3 and the forerunner of the Messiah), and I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet (God’s appraisal of him is the only opinion that mattered).
v 27…This is the one about whom it is written (already recorded), ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face (Mal 3.1), who will prepare your way before you.’
v 28…I say to you, among those born of women (a person with limitations and weaknesses), there is no one greater than John, yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he (the main issue here is the offer of the kingdom of God. Yeshua is leading people into it by saying by way of contrast that the least in the kingdom of God, the Olam Haba or world to come, is greater than the greatest prophet in the Olam Ha Zeh, this present world. In other words, one in the Olam Haba is greater than one in the Olam Ha Zeh. He is contrasting the two “olams” and to enter the Olam Haba you must have a change of status).”
v 29…And when all the people and tax-gatherers heard, they acknowledged God’s justice (declared him to be just), having been immersed with the baptism of Jon (repentance because the kingdom of God was there confronting them).
v 30…But the Pharisees (of Beit Shammai) and the lawyers rejected God’s purposes (his counsels and benefits-Acts 20.27) for themselves, not having been immersed by John (so no change in status).
v 31…”To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, what are they like?
v 32…They are like children (stubborn ones) who sit in the marketplace (where the Pharisees met) and call to one another; and say, ‘We played the flute to you (the flutist were the religious leaders), and you did not dance (Yeshua and his talmidim did not conform to their edicts and man-made decrees), we sang a dirge and you did not weep (John’s followers also did not conform to their ideas of repentance).
v 33…For John the Baptist (Yocahnon ha Matvil) has come eating no bread and drinking no wine (a more serious ministry); and you say, ‘He has a demon (because he lived in the wilderness which was seen as the habitation of demons and Ha Satan)!’
v 34…The son of Man has come eating and drinking (not like John, but as the bridegroom bringing joy and happiness), and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard, s friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!’
v 35…Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children (wisdom can have a positive or negative connotation in Hebrew thought. In this verse, Yeshua is saying that a person can tell whether his wisdom is authentic, or it reveals shrewdness or stupidity. It all comes down to whether their arguments are in agreement or inconsistent. If it is inconsistent, it points to their stupidity).”
v 36…Now, one of the Pharisees was requesting him to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined (accepted his hospitality).
v 37…And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner (chata who was known for her bad conduct); and when she learned that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house (to eat a meal), she brought an alabaster vial of perfume,
v 38…and standing behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing his feet, and anointing them with perfume.
v 39…Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself (not openly because he had good manners), “If this man were a prophet he would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching him, that she is a sinner (chata-and Yeshua would have rejected her).”
v 40…And Yeshua answered (his secret thoughts) and said to him, “Simon (to hear), I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, teacher (but he didn’t mean it to apply to him in the Talmud, Mishnah and other Jewish literature it tells us that Beit Shammai held themselves “aloof” from the people, especially sinners. Beit Hillel, another school of Pharisees that Paul belonged to, was open to them. Most likely, Simon was from Beit Shammai).
v 41…”A certain moneylender (God) had two debtors, one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty (“five” alludes to the Torah-all men are debtors to God, the only difference is Simon didn’t know it but the woman did).
v 42…When they were unable to repay (we cannot do anything to repay our debt to God), he graciously forgave them both. Which of them will love him more?”
v 43…Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more (not realizing he was condemning himself).” And he said to him, “You have judged correctly (even in a fallen state he knew).”
v 44…And turning towards the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet (ignored common hospitality and an insult, even violating common courtesy), but she has wet my feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair.
v 45…You gave me no kiss (a custom in greeting); but she since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss my feet.
v 46…You did not anoint my head with oil (he did not treat Yeshua as an honored guest), but she anointed my feet with perfume.
v 47…For this reason I say to you, her sins (the debt), which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much (v 42); but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
v 48…And he said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven (not under arrest or indictment anymore; this brings us to the concept of the Dual Nature of the Torah. In short, the Torah has two roles. First, it is our instructor, an educational role. The commandments and the historical stories teach us. It calls for obedience. Second, the Torah acts as our custodian in its judicial role only until we come to conversion through faith in Yeshua. By identifying us as sinners and demanding punishment for them, the Torah holds us in custody. Knowledge of the law’s high standards increases our moral awareness and responsibility, eliminating ignorance as an excuse. Now, sin becomes exceedingly sinful and calls for our death. But when we come to faith in Yeshua, the law’s role as custodian-Gal 3.23-25- is abolished. No longer can the law demand our death, for God has declared us “Not guilty!” No longer can the law declare us transgressors, for the record of our sins has been blotted out and the curse of the law has been removed-Gal 3.13; Col 2.14. We are no longer under the curse of the law).
v 49…And those who were reclining with him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins (they considered this blasphemy; he not only violates their traditions, but assumes a role only Yehovah can do. They weren’t wondering what kind of person he was, they were offended at him and filled with anger)?”
v 50…And he said to the woman, “Your faith (Hebrew “emunah” meaning action and confidence; biblical faith consists of Ahav, or love; mitzvot, or commandments also called “good works” and da’at or knowledge of God in Torah facts. all three must be in place to have biblical faith. Her faith saved her, and her actions were the evidence of her faith) has saved you; go in peace.”
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