Read Luke Chapter 7
After preaching to the crowds on the plain Jesus came to Capernaum, another lakeside town in Galilee. We find here the surprising lengths people will go to to curry favour with those in power. The Pharisees, who did not believe in Jesus, came to Jesus on behalf of the local Centurion who had been quite a benevolent asset to the town. Jesus marvelled at the Centurion’s faith and heals his slave. The Centurion had demonstrated great insight in that he understood the authority Jesus had over sickness and disease liking it to his own authority over his own subordinates.
Luke 7:9 “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.”
Next in another town of Galilee, Nain, Jesus raises a widows son right out of his coffin. This kind of authority put the fear of God into them all, but they glorified God because they recognised that Jesus was a prophet sent by God.
Meanwhile in a jail, under Herod the Tetrarch, probably in Tiberias, a Greek styled city on the western shore of Lake Galilee, was John the Baptist. He was evidently feeling low in spirits and sent to enquire if Jesus was the Messiah. Perhaps John was wondering why Jesus hadn’t rescued him from Jail, perhaps like many others he had misunderstood the kind of Kingdom Jesus was bringing. He realised after hearing that Jesus was doing all that Scripture had said He would do that he had no intention of rescuing him and that his role in all this had been played. John was satisfied and I expect faced his lot with courage and faith. Jesus doesn’t always rescue us in times of trial, but we can be reassured whilst in the midst of these times and trust that He knows what He is doing with, in and through us. Don’t be discouraged when you feel lonely and isolated, look what Jesus had to say about John; what could Jesus say about you?:
Luke 7:26 “Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John”
We learn from Jesus meal with Simon the Pharisee, not unlike with His meal with the tax collectors and sinners, that Jesus came for those who were in great need, not for those who were doing fine by their own standards. The woman who had anointed Jesus there had shown more gratitude and honour to Him than this so-called righteous Pharisee. Jesus makes His point:
Luke 7:47 “I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
In this chapter we saw glimpses of the compassion Jesus has for all different kinds of people. It’s encouraging to know that He is compassionate to any that call upon Him and again that it’s all about His kindness toward us and not about our efforts to be good enough.