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A Great Prophet Has Arisen

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With the raising of the dead son of the widow of Nain, great fear came upon all the people and they began to spread the news, saying “a great prophet has arisen” among them. Just as the raising of the woman’s son in 1Kings 17:23 proved to the widow of Zarephath that Elijah was a prophet, and God spoke through him, when the crowd who followed Jesus witnessed what he had done, they and the people of Nain began spreading the news that Jesus was a great prophet of God (Luke 7:16-17). While Jesus didn’t entrust himself to men (cf. John 2:23-24), he did use men to spread his fame throughout the land of the Jews through the miracles he did. News of him spread out from Capernaum (Luke 4:37), and he took advantage of the Jewish festivals when visitors would be present from all the neighboring regions (Luke 5:15, 17; 6:17-18). In the case of the people of Nain and the crowd who followed Jesus there, they would spread the news back to Jerusalem (Luke 7:17) when they would go to Jerusalem to celebrate the next Jewish festival (cf. John 5). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Widow of Nain

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After he healed the centurion’s servant at some distance from where the young man lay dying (Luke 7:2, 8-10), Jesus went to the town of Nain with his disciples, and a large crowd of people followed him (Luke 7:11). Nain was about 25 miles southwest of Capernaum and about 6 miles southeast of Nazareth. In fact, Nain was easily visible from the hill upon which Nazareth was built, if one looked across its southern valley. As he approached the city gates of Nain, Jesus saw a funeral was taking place. A young man, the only son of a widow, was being carried out of the city (Luke 7:12, 14). As Jesus looked upon the woman who walked ahead of the bier, he had compassion on her and told her not to cry (Luke 7:13). Then Jesus touched the bier and stopped the funeral from proceeding. Having done this, he spoke to the dead young man, command him to arise, and Jesus delivered him to his mother (Luke 7:14-15). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Context of Jesus’ Visit to Nain

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Previously, we left Jesus approaching Capernaum from Cana[1] when he healed the servant of the centurion, but the healing took place at some distance from where the dying young man lay (Luke 7:2-10; cf. John 4:45-54), so Jesus was probably as some distance from Capernaum and not in the city. We know this, because the father of the young man immediately left Jesus when he was told that his son was healed, and he found Jesus’ word to be true when he met his own servants who told him his son was healed at the 7th hour the previous day (John 4:53). Immediately after healing the young man, Jesus retraced his steps to Cana on his way to visit the town of Nain, just 6 miles southeast of his hometown of Nazareth, and Luke tells us he didn’t arrive until sometime the following day (Luke 7:11). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Authority of Jesus

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Authority is a strange thing. One cannot see authority, touch it, smell it, hear it or taste it. In other words, authority is something we may know and understand, but such a thing cannot be witnessed through our five senses. Nevertheless, we know when we are in the presence of authority. A man of authority is able to move many men to act according to his will, and some men are able to move nations by the word of their power. Jesus represented Heaven, so he spoke and acted out of the authority of God. It is interesting to see, as we read the Gospel narratives, who recognizes Jesus’ authority and who does not. One may even be surprised with the fact that the very men, who were given authority over God’s people, were unwilling to recognize God’s authority over them in the person of Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Context of the Centurion’s Request

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One may ask why the centurion would want or need the Jewish elders (Luke 7:3) to speak for him. Ordinarily, the Romans were viewed with contempt by the Jewish people. They were their conquerors who continually oppressed them. There is no reason to think that the centurion should believe Jesus would treat him or his request with kindness. Therefore, he needed friends of Jesus who would act on the centurion’s behalf and make his request known in the matter of his dying servant. But, what about the father of the dying young man? If Luke 7:2-10 reflects the same event as John 4:45-54, why couldn’t the young man’s father simply make the request of Jesus and expect Jesus to respond favorably? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Identifying the Centurion’s Servant

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Is it possible to know the identity of the centurion’s servant (Luke 7:2)? I don’t think we can identify him with certainty, but by considering the Scriptures I believe we can do better than merely the centurion’s servant (Luke 7:2). For example, if we consider the similarities between John 4:45-54 and Luke 7:2-10, we would find that Capernaum is the focus of the healing in both records (Luke 7:1 cf. Matthew 8:5; John 4:46). Both the centurion’s servant and the nobleman’s son were near death (Luke 7:2; John 4:47), and in both Scriptures the request for healing came from someone of rank (Luke 7:2; John 4:46). Moreover, Jesus chided the Jewish nation for their lack of faith in both accounts (cf. Luke 7:9; John 4:48), but the Scriptures point to the man of rank, who wasn’t Jewish, as having faith (Luke 7:9; John 4:50-53). Finally, in both Scriptures the man who was near death was healed by Jesus over some distance (Luke 7:10; John 4:50-53). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Centurion’s Request in Luke 7

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Some folks see similarities between the centurion of Luke 7 and the centurion, Cornelius, whom Luke mentions in Acts (cf. Acts 10:1-4). Besides their both being of the same rank in the military, they were both God-fearers (Acts 10:1). Both would have been aware of Jewish traditions of uncleanness associated with contact with non-Jews or gentiles (Acts 10:28). Both were generous with the wealth they had. The centurion seeking Jesus loved the Jews and built a synagogue for them (Luke 7:5), while the centurion who sent for Peter was noted for his love for the Jews and his generosity toward the Jewish people (Acts 10:2, 4, 22). Although these similarities don’t measure up to proof that the two are the same person, I believe it is probable they are one and the same person. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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