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Chapter 7

The Healing of a Centurion’s Slave.(A) [a]When he had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum.[b] A centurion[c] there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.[d] Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10 When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

Raising of the Widow’s Son.[e]

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  1. 7:1–8:3 The episodes in this section present a series of reactions to the Galilean ministry of Jesus and reflect some of Luke’s particular interests: the faith of a Gentile (Lk 7:1–10); the prophet Jesus’ concern for a widowed mother (Lk 7:11–17); the ministry of Jesus directed to the afflicted and unfortunate of Is 61:1 (Lk 7:18–23); the relation between John and Jesus and their role in God’s plan for salvation (Lk 7:24–35); a forgiven sinner’s manifestation of love (Lk 7:36–50); the association of women with the ministry of Jesus (Lk 8:1–3).
  2. 7:1–10 This story about the faith of the centurion, a Gentile who cherishes the Jewish nation (Lk 7:5), prepares for the story in Acts of the conversion by Peter of the Roman centurion Cornelius who is similarly described as one who is generous to the Jewish nation (Acts 10:2). See also Acts 10:34–35 in the speech of Peter: “God shows no partiality…whoever fears him and acts righteously is acceptable to him.” See also notes on Mt 8:5–13 and Jn 4:43–54.
  3. 7:2 A centurion: see note on Mt 8:5.
  4. 7:6 I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof: to enter the house of a Gentile was considered unclean for a Jew; cf. Acts 10:28.
  5. 7:11–17 In the previous incident Jesus’ power was displayed for a Gentile whose servant was dying; in this episode it is displayed toward a widowed mother whose only son has already died. Jesus’ power over death prepares for his reply to John’s disciples in Lk 7:22: “the dead are raised.” This resuscitation in alluding to the prophet Elijah’s resurrection of the only son of a widow of Zarephath (1 Kgs 7:8–24) leads to the reaction of the crowd: “A great prophet has arisen in our midst” (Lk 7:16).