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Bible Commentaries

Brian Bell Commentary on the Bible
Luke 7

 

 

Verses 1-17
  1. Intro:
    1. Gracie – Present plaque. Read verse. Pray. [DVD after 3rd service]
    2. Announce – Wed night(a night of prayer!); Thurs.(Murrieta Prayer Breakfast); Come & pray in our Worship/Prayer room (8-4pm); Meet at the Flagpole (12-12:30 City Hall).
    3. Mission Prayer Card – Dennis & Marcia Felkner.
    4. Dollar Day – To increase awareness of the homeless in Riv. County. And to show unity in the body of Christ [10 churches participated, total raised $14,000] .We at CCM collected $1,979. Thank you!
    5. Lastly – Remember a few weeks back the $8 I got ripped off at the gas pump?
    6. Someone said, “Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps!”
      1. We are going to meet a man this morning of great faith! [He took the big step]
      2. It’s a Faith that sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible!
  2. AN OFFICER & A GENTLEMAN! (1-10)
    1. HUMILITY HONORED! (1-8)
    2. “I’m not worthy” – Confession of Humility!
    3. We learn that this man is loving, thoughtful, & benevolent.
      1. Love was demonstrated to be a matter of deeds - “he’s built us a synagogue”.
        1. Not mere words or feelings.
      2. In modern times “Righteous Gentiles” have been honored by trees planted along the road to Israel’s Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial, because they risked their own death to save Jewish lives. (Adapted from; Stern, D. H. (1992). Jewish New Testament commentary : (1st ed.) (Lk 7:5).)
    4. A Roman Centurion caring about his slave? - Loving him? - Loving him enough to approach Jesus on his behalf? Wow!
    5. 3 opinions concerning this Gentile Roman Centurion:
    6. [1] The Jewish elder’s opinion!
      1. He’s worthy/deserving! - He loves our nation! - He built us our synagogue!
      2. That’s there great opinion of this man.
    7. [2] His opinion of himself!
      1. I am not worthy/sufficient that you should enter under my roof! (diff word: meant he could not entertain Jesus as Jesus ought to be entertained)
        1. [A Galilean peasant by all earthly position was concerned???] (G. Campbell Morgan; pg.94)
        2. I did not even think myself worthy to come to you! (here, he did use the word they used)
        3. That’s his opinion of himself!
    8. [3] Jesus opinion of Him!
      1. I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.
      2. Christ’s opinion was that he was a man of remarkable faith!
    9. “God sends none away empty but those who are full of themselves!”
    10. We can never deserve His blessings, but we can ask for them in faith.
    11. We should all come to Christ like this man: [1] W/a Confession of Humility “I am not worthy” [2] W/a Confession of Faith “Say the Word”
    12. FAITH’S REWARD! (9,10)
    13. “Say the word” – Confession of Faith!
    14. He didn’t need to go. He didn’t even need to utter a word!
    15. A FAITH THAT TURNS HEADS! (9,10)
    16. “He marveled…& turned around” – applauding Faith!
    17. Marveled – we are told of only one other time when Jesus marveled.
      1. Mark 6:6 “He marveled because of their unbelief” (up in Naz.)
    18. I love that Jesus turned around to the crowd!
      1. He’s in awe of this Gentile’s Faith. (Did you check that out?)
      2. He esteems it higher than any of his own Jewish people.
    19. Q: How will you make the Messiah Marvel at your faith in Him this week?
  3. MOVED WITH COMPASSION! (11-17)
    1. Nain – (“green pastures” “pleasant” “lovely”) - 25 SW of Capernaum.
      1. At the foot of its slope is the great valley of Jezreel.
      2. This was the 1st miracle of raising the dead our Lord did.
    2. A WEEPING WIDOW! (11,12)
    3. A dead son – Declaration of Despair!
    4. Here is one of life’s shadows – What shadow has hung over your life this last week?
      1. Sorrow is a fact of daily life!
    5. Here two processions collide at Capernaum’s city gate!
      1. In one procession the central figure is Christ, in the other a corpse.
      2. One group is entering the city, the other leaving the city.
      3. Here death meets life; disorder meets order; mourning meets ministry.
      4. In one group joy & gladness, the other sorrow & sadness.
    6. A COMPASIONATE SAVIOR! (13)
    7. “Do not weep” – Declaration of Compassion!
    8. Compassion or Sympathy – feeling with & a felling for.
    9. What did His heart snag on? A mother!...who lost her only son…a widow!
      1. That’s what caught His heart! [not nec the dead son]
      2. He always sees the brokenhearted. That’s where His eyes always go.
      3. Remember, He had been sent to heal the brokenhearted!
    10. Instead of a flash back I wonder if Jesus was having a “flash forward”…to his own mother?
      1. His mother would soon be a widow, weeping over the death of her only Son!
      2. She would experience these same feelings & deep hurts, but He will not be able to stop that process…of His “mother’s sword”.
    11. This woman for the 2nd time was robbed of her provider & protector.
    12. This is the 1st of 3 stories regarding “only” children that Luke shares with us.
      1. Jarius’ Daughter(8:42) & a child possessed of a demon(9:38).
    13. Jesus reacted by: Seeing, feeling, speaking, & acting.
      1. Seeing – Look for opportunities.
        1. Don’t be so absorbed in self.
      2. Feeling – Allow your heart to feel.
        1. Don’t become callous to others needs & hurts.
        2. His feeling was delicate: Words few & simple; too many words often spoil.
      3. Speaking – Speak Up!
        1. Don’t allow the crowd to muzzle you.
      4. Acting – Do good, do something!
        1. Don’t only be touched on the inside.
        2. True sympathy must be put into action.
        3. Feelings must become touchor they will soon evaporate! (Griffith Thomas; pg/125)
    14. Jesus spoke to the dead & he heard!
      1. If you ever been present when a loved one died, you’ve probably talked to them saying your goodbyes even after they were gone.
        1. We talk to them as they lay there, but we know they can’t hear us.
      2. But when Jesus speaks to the dead He speaks as though they can hear Him…And they do! - They hear Him…& they respond!
      3. It was the same with all 3 Jesus raised from the dead:
        1. The 12 yr old little girl – Tenderly in her mother tongue “Taliatha cumi” “damsel/maiden arise”! [Mark 5:40]
        2. A friend - Standing in front his tomb(calls him by name)“Lazarus come forth
        3. A little girl, a friend, a mothers son!
      4. See, the dead are “alive”(spiritually)...they’re just detached from their body.
    15. Jesus, a sympathizing Friend, a living reality, a powerful Lord!
    16. FUNERAL CRASHER! (14,15)
    17. “I say to you Arise!” – Declaration of Power over death!
    18. Here, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”1 Cor.15:54,55
      1. Here is a precursor to His final mission – to abolish death!
    19. Jesus knew just how to ruin a perfectly good funeral!
      1. He never attended nor officiated one funeral service that we know of!
      2. This funeral procession turned into a Walk for Life!
    20. Ok, this is freaky:
    21. he who was dead sat up – what did the pallbearers do?
    22. and began to speak – Ever wonder what he said???
      1. “Hey, let me down! – Ouu, get me out of this box! – Mom, I promise to be good!”
      2. Probably 1st word…“Ema/Mother”!
    23. A HAPPY MOTHER! (15b)
    24. The Presentation! – Declaration of Hope!
    25. “deliver him to his mother” – beautiful touch, chiefly for her sake.
    26. Never despair! – He may not raise your love one back to this world, but Jesus’ promise is still true today, “he who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live!”
    27. A GOD VISIT! (16)
    28. “God has visited His people” – Declaration of Awe!
    29. They didn’t realize how accurate they were!
    30. Did you know, God HAS visited his people…& His name is Jesus Christ!
      1. Phillips Trans “God has turned His face towards His people.”
    31. Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God –
      1. (NIV) They were all filled with awe and praised God.
      2. (NASB) Fear gripped them all, & they began glorifying God.
      3. (ESV) Fear seized them all, and they glorified God.
      4. (Message Bible) They were quietly worshipful—and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, “God is back, looking to the needs of his people!”
    32. Don’t miss the fact: Nothing is mentioned about the mothers faith, or lack thereof; Nothing is mentioned of any lesson after this to the crowds following Him; It wasn’t even prompted by the crowds to prove His divinity!
      1. It was solely from the well of divine compassion!
      2. Someone broken, hurting, weak, frail…moved the heart of God!
      3. The God who has everything…wanted me! (Billy Graham)
    33. Wrap Up:
    34. [1] Resurrection – our resurrection hour is coming!
      1. “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Rev.20:6
    35. [2] Reunion - We will have reunion ties renewed! (in heaven)
      1. 2 Sam 12:22,23 “And he(David) said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
        1. What a great reunion it will be meeting up w/the saints that have gone before us.
    36. [3] Recognition – shall we know each other?
      1. Shall we have less sense in that life than in this?
      2. “Our minds will be clearer in heaven, not foggier!” (Randy Alcorn; heaven; pg.331.)
    37. After Christ’s resurrection He was seen & recognized by many.
    38. At transfiguration the disciples recognized Moses & Elijah even though they couldn’t have known what they looked like.
      1. It seems we’ll immediately know those we’ve never previously met, so how much more family & friends.
    39. The whole interchange between Lazarus(in heaven w/Abraham) & the rich man(in hell).
      1. Remembers his brothers on earth.
    40. Paul’s words of comfort in 1 Thes.4:13-18.
      1. (13) “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep(died), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.”
      2. (18) “Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
    41. There seems to be a continuity & memory of history.
      1. In Rev.21:12-14, in the New City Jerusalem, will have memorials of the 12 tribes & 12 apostles.3.36.7.1.1.This indicates a continuity & memory of history.
    42. Remember our past? – Yes, but not to the point of despair!
      1. Rev.6:9-11 – Talks about a group of martyrs who fully remembered their martyrdom up in heaven.
      2. But Jesus gave words of comfort in Lk.16:25 that in heaven those who experienced bad things on earth will be comforted.
        1. “Abraham said, ‘Son(rich man in hell), remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
        2. Lazarus, sitting next to Abraham didn’t say, “I did? I experienced evil things? I forgot!”
    43. So we have: Our own Resurrection coming one day! – A Reunion, our family & friend ties renewed! – And have Recognition, we shall know each other & be known?
    44. Jesus doesn’t promise no storms in our life, but that we shall be kept safe in it!
      1. Like a village surrounded by mountains. “The mountains both attract the storms& protect from them.”
    45. A seagoing captain commanded a passenger ship that was sailing from Liverpool, England, to New York. His family was on board with him. One night when everyone was asleep, a squall unexpectedly swept over the waters and tossed the ship violently, awakening the passengers. They were all terribly afraid because of the storm. The captain’s little 8-year-old girl was also awakened. “What’s the matter?” cried the frightened child. Her mother told her that a sudden storm had struck the ship. “Is Father on deck?” she asked. “Yes, Father’s on deck,” came the encouraging answer. Hearing this, the little girl snuggled back into her bed and in a few moments was sound asleep. The winds still blew and the waves still rolled, but her fears were calmed because her father was at the helm. (Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.)
    46. No Christian is immune from the storms of life. When we come to faith we are not automatically guaranteed that we will be free from difficulty and trial. Yet we are assured of God’s abiding presence and mighty power to calm our fears and hold us secure in time of trouble.
    47. God hath not promised sun w/o rain, Joy w/o sorrow, peace w/o pain; But God hath promised strength for the day, Rest for the labor, light for the way. Annie Johnson Flint
    48. Q: How will you make the Messiah Marvel at your faith in Him this week?
    49. Q: Will you anticipate receiving God’s goodness towards you this week?

Verses 18-35
  1. Intro:
    1. What does “Proof” mean when it refers to Whiskey? (& other distilled alcoholic beverages)
    2. Story goes that in the very old days, whiskey was "proved" to be good whiskey (that is it had enough alcohol in it, and had not been watered down), by pouring some whiskey on some gunpowder. Touch a match to the powder, and if it ignited it was "proof" that it was good whiskey. However, if there was too much water in the whiskey, the powder would be too wet to ignite. Then you have proof that it’s not good whiskey.
      1. About 50% alcohol-water mixtures will allow gunpowder to catch on fire.
      2. Thus the 50% alcohol became 100% proof that it was good whiskey, which is why today it is called 100 proof whiskey.
    3. Proof: A test or trial of something to establish whether it is true.
      1. We all desire proof. We need to know “if it’s true”! And that’s a good thing!
      2. Asking God for proofs doesn’t shake Him up at all! – BUT!...you must allow Him to answer different then you might expect!
    4. Ever been shook to the very foundation of your faith?
      1. Maybe it was a difficult question? - About God, or His Word?
      2. Maybe it was a very difficult life circumstance? - A death of a loved one, a bankruptcy, a boyfriend that broke up with you, a wife that left you, a child that left the faith.
    5. Ever experience: Doubt, despair, questions, hesitation, uncertainty, reservation, indecision, vacillation…then you’re in good company Christian!
      1. Yes!...now this is real, authentic, genuine Christianity…100 Proof!
    6. Title: 100 Proof! Outline: Enough Proof! & Final Proof!
  2. ENOUGH PROOF! (18-30)
    1. PERPLEXED! (18-20)
    2. The Prophets Pause!
      1. An outdoorsman, a child of the desert & of the wide-open spaces, now confined in a dungeon cell in the castle of Machaerus. (The Black Fortress, was built by Herod the Great in the gorge of Callirhoe, one of the wadies 9 miles east of the Dead Sea. Eastman’s dict.)
        1. John would find it very easy to get discouraged.
      2. We today get discouraged in much better circumstances!
    3. John couldn’t understand Jesus ministry…so he wondered if another was to come.
      1. I thought he was coming to Judge…not Save!
      2. Was he impatient with Christ’s quiet methods?
    4. But John does the most excellent thing anyone could do…he sent his little delegation straight to Jesus for answers!
      1. Doubt should always be brought direct to Him!
      2. Doubt if hidden, will fester; if shared with others, may spread.
      3. Griffith Thomas, “God is not wounded by a reverent challenge.”
        1. Ps.42:9(sons of Korah) “I will say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
        2. Ps.42:11 “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? (answer) Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
    5. ENLIGHTENED! (21-23)
    6. (21) 1st Jesus made the dynamic duo wait & watch!
    7. (22) William Barclay said, John probably expected to hear, “My armies are massing. Caesarea, the headquarters of the Roman government, is about to fall. The sinners are being obliterated. And judgment has begun.” He would have expected Jesus to say, “The wrath of God is on the march.” but Jesus said, “The mercy of God is here.” Let us remember that where pain is soothed and sorrow turned to joy, where suffering and death are vanquished, there is the kingdom of God. Jesus’ answer was, “Go back and tell John that the love of God is here.” (The Gospel of Luke. 2000; William Barclay; The Daily study Bible series.)
      1. By Jesus’ answer in vs.22, we see that John doubted His work not necessarily Him!
    8. John did you over look the scriptures that spoke of My healing, delivering, & preaching in the OT?
      1. Is.35:5,6 “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing.”
      2. Is.61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointedMe to preach good tidings to the poor;”
      3. Actually he gives them 6 works that fulfilled OT Messianic promises.
    9. Does Jesus ever look different to you? (i.e. the way He is working in your life?)
    10. Jesus said, the proof is in the healing; the proof is in the delivering; the proof is in the raising; the proof is in the preaching!
      1. Blind eyes are seeing things they’ve never seen before; Cripples are leaping; Lepers once shut out of society now cleansed & restored to fellowship; Ears that have heard no song of a bird, or music, are listening; the dead are raised; Oh, & the spiritually poor who had no soul wealth have heard the Good News & are now rich towards God! (G.Campbell Morgan; pg.97,98.)
      2. Tell John I am Master here!
    11. (23) Offended - The Lord’s ways can often be very “stumbling”!
      1. David was offended by God’s severity (2 Sam.6:8)
        1. And David became angry because of the LORD’s outbreak against Uzzah.
      2. Jonah was offended by God’s mercy (Jonah 4:1-3)
        1. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry.
      3. Martha was offended by Christ’s delay (John 11:21)
        1. “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
    12. Much grace is needed when the messengers come back saying: Yes, it’s Him!”…“the One who can do anything!”…“the One who has all power”...“but, didn’t say a word about letting you out!”
      1. No explanation; faith nourished; prison doors left closed; & then the message, “blessed is he who is not stumbled because of me” – That is all!
      2. Christ will not explain Himself, but instead He will reveal Himself, as He did to David, to Jonah, to Martha, & to John! (Griffith Thomas; pg.129)
    13. What have you expected of the Christian faith that turned out to be different?
      1. Maybe you’ve learned: that as Jesus didn’t come to judge, so we aren’t supposed to judge! - that as Jesus didn’t come to build religious walls, so we aren’t supposed to construct them either! - that as Jesus came to reach out to people, to heal, to save, to bring hope, to care…so ought we!
    14. Our work of the Church is to alleviate human suffering as Christ did, but that is not our final work, nor our principle work.
      1. We are to bring men into living relationship w/God so they might enjoy “the franchise of eternity”(Morgan)!
    15. APPROVED! (24-30)
    16. Jesus gives honor to His rugged, faithful, & fearless forerunner!
      1. Such a great tribute to a man…who had doubts.
    17. (24) What did you go out to see? A fickle, vacillating, swaying character of a man?
      1. Not John! – He was a man immovable as a mighty tree!
      2. He wasn’t an unstable Reed, more like a sturdy Cedar!
    18. (25) What did you go out to see? Some soft effeminate soul, like the silk-clad attendees of the Royal Palace?
      1. Not John! – That locust eatin, camel hair wearin, manly man!
    19. (26-28) What did you go out to see? A Prophet!
      1. Bingo! - And more than a prophet! - Matter of fact the greatest prophet!
      2. He was heralded as the highest!
    20. (27) Jesus said John is the one the OT prophet Malachi wrote about.
      1. Alfred Plummer said about John, “The whole man was a sermon!”
    21. (28b) But he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he – How?
      1. John was great, but even he did not know what Calvary would mean. Nor did he live to see it.
        1. John marked a dividing line in history.
      2. “Jesus had come; eternity had invaded time; heaven had invaded earth; God had arrived in Jesus; life could never be the same again.” (The Gospel of Luke. 2000; William Barclay; The Daily study Bible series.)
      3. Therefore, all who come after Jesus and who receive him, are of necessity granted a greater blessing than all who went before.
    22. The humblest believer today has a much higher position in Christ than John had as a prophet.
      1. John belonged to the old dispensation of Law.
      2. Believers today are seated w/Christ in the heavenlies.
      3. So, the smallest diamond is stronger than the largest flint!
        1. Ex: My small diamond in my ring, vs. a large plate glass window!
    23. (29) Many Jews(even Tax Collectors) repented at John’s preaching.
    24. (30) Wow! Hear that statement? “they rejected the will of God for themselves!”
    25. The Pharisees had refused & ridiculed Johns baptism & preaching of repentance.
      1. Lord, save us from making shipwreck of our life, & bringing heartache & heartbreak to You!
  3. FINAL PROOF! (31-35)
    1. ​​​​​​​THE UNREASONABLENESS OF THE GENERATION! (31-34)
    2. We also live in a very unreasonable generation!
      1. One asked, “What is the biggest problem in our nation – Ignorance or Apathy?” To which came the response, “I don’t know & I don’t care!”
    3. Here is a searching & scathing rebuke!
    4. Christ likened their generation unto little children who wouldn’t play anything.
      1. I remember playing with my 2 younger sisters growing up. We’d play Gas Station (prob too expensive to play today!) I’d pull up on my red peddle tractor, Jeanette would use the garden hose to pump pretend gas in.
      2. But we all had a friend on the block that didn’t seem to want to play anything.
      3. Wanna ride bikes? Too much energy! – How about Monopoly? Too long!
    5. They complained about both John’s austerity & Christ’s gentleness.
      1. John stayed in the desert as the eccentric; so they assumed a demon took his wits away!
      2. Jesus came living the life of men & entering their activities; so they taunted Him with loving earth’s pleasures far too much.
      3. John’s too rough, look at his clothes, what a fanatic!
      4. Jesus, He’s too smooth! I’ve seen him at some parties you know! Did you hear, He hangs out with sinners?
      5. So they didn’t like serious John nor sociable Jesus!
        1. Yet, despite their differences, their message was the same!
    6. Well, the counterculture of love had been defined(ch.6)!
      1. God chose the dangerous way of love, & we know love in the end will triumph!
      2. God has made many appeals to mankind in history’s past. All sorts of different Patriarchs, Prophets, Kings, Priests, Apostles, & Messengers have come, & yet were met with willful & childish discontent.
      3. (Message) “John the Baptizer came fasting and you called him crazy. The Son of Man came feasting and you called him a lush. Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
    7. FINAL PROOF! (35)
    8. The proof is in the pudding” (or, The proof of the pudding is in the eating) [from Don Quixote de la Mancha]
      1. Pudding” actually meant: a portion of pig intestine, tied with a pudding stick at both ends, stuffed with all sorts of meat, fat, grain, & spices, a.k.a. “sausage”.
      2. You can’t say whether it is good or not until you partake of it.
      3. One really can’t “try on” Christianity! - He says instead, eat my body & drink my blood to make His point!
      4. The results vindicate the method!
    9. Do you get it? Christian, you & I are the proof!
      1. We are to be “God’s Final Answer”!
    10. The renowned artist Gustave Dore(daw-ray) (1821–1883) lost his passport while traveling in Europe. When he came to a border crossing, he explained his predicament to one of the guards. Giving his name to the official, Dore hoped he would be recognized and allowed to pass. The guard, however, said that many people attempted to cross the border by claiming to be persons they were not. Dore insisted that he was the man he claimed to be. “All right,” said the official, “we’ll give you a test, and if you pass it we’ll allow you to go through.” Handing him a pencil and a sheet of paper, he told the artist to sketch several peasants standing nearby. Dore did it so quickly and skillfullythat the guard was convinced he was indeed who he claimed to be. His workconfirmed his word!6 (Does yours?) (Our Daily Bread, January 6, 1993)

Verses 36-50
  1. Intro:
    1. Jesus sometimes ate with Tax collectors & sinners & sometimes ate with Pharisees. {So, Simon the Pharisee asks him for dinner, & Jesus accepts!}
      1. Q: So why did Simon invite Jesus over for dinner? {a} he wanted to get to know Him better {b} he wanted to get some new evidence against him.
      2. Q: Have you ever been invited over to dinner & then find out “you” were the main course?
    2. According to the Harmony of the Gospels, just before this event Jesus just said Mt.11:25-30(read).
      1. Maybe there she responded to the gospel & trusted Christ?
      2. And now she was coming to express her love & worship.
      3. Having taken His yoke, she came to express her love. (Warren Wiersbe)
      4. Old life over, new life begun (implied by her actions) [i.e. “she gets it!”]
        1. Her sins are forgiven; she loved much; your faith has saved you.
    3. Outline: [1] The Woman a Sinner! [2] Simon the Sinner! [3] Jesus the Savior!
      1. Let’s meet 2 people who are at the North & South Pole of the “social scale of life”.
  2. THE WOMAN A SINNER! (36-38;48-50)
    1. Her Sin! (36,37a)
    2. She was a women of the night.
      1. She worked Galilee’s “Red Light District”.
    3. Don’t confuse this story with Mary Magdalene or Mary of Bethany.
      1. Mary Magdalene – had 7 demons(Lk.8:2) but wasn’t a prostitute.
        1. Church history 1st records this teaching in 591ad by Pope Gregory the Great, at an Easter sermon he gave in which he declared that the prostitute of Lk.7 was Mary Magdalene of Lk.83.
          1. The Vatican finally cleared this up in 1969, saying there was no reason to make Mary a repentant harlot. (Erwin Lutzer; pg.45; The Da Vinci Deception.)
        2. Nor was she married to Jesus, nor had children w/Him, nor did they intermarry w/the French Royal line!!!
          1. (According to Dan Browns “Da Vinci Code”)
        3. I read an article “Christians: Embrace the Code!” [explain]
      2. Mary of Bethany - did a similar act(anointing Jesus feet w/an alabaster flask w/costly ointment) at a Simon’s house(who was previously a leper)[which means he couldn’t have been a Pharisee] (Mt.26:6-13)
        1. Timing different; results different(why wasn’t it used for the poor), this one was done “for his burial”.
    4. (37) She came in by a curious custom of the time that allowed strangers to enter a house uninvited at a feast, especially beggars seeking a gift. (Robertson, A. Word Pictures in the New Testament.)
    5. Her Sacrifice! (37b)
    6. She brings an expensive alabaster jar of perfume to Jesus.
    7. The flask was of alabaster: a very light stone, usually white or yellow.
      1. Named alabaster, from the town in Egypt where it was chiefly found.
    8. Her Sorrow! (38a)
    9. She weeps over her sin.
    10. She was ashamed of her past - but not of her tears nor her Savior!
    11. She was in the house with Jesus & that’s all that mattered!
    12. Her Service! (38b)
    13. She anoints Jesus’ feet.
    14. Faith produced love, love produced service!
      1. Love finds ways of service & surrender.
    15. True faith shows itself in love & worship!
    16. Her Salvation! (47,48, 50)
    17. She experiences forgiveness.
    18. Jesus responds to this woman’s act of worship…with forgiveness!
      1. Notice Jesus doesn’t say, “God forgives you” instead Jesus claimed to forgive her sins.
    19. Verse 47 does not teach salvation by works. Vs.50 makes it clear she was saved by faith. - Her works were the proof of her faith – And, they were motivated by love.
      1. Gal.5:6(NIV) “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
      2. “So we are not saved by love, nor by service; we are saved by a faith which produces love, which naturally results in service!”
    20. The woman was not forgiven because of her love; rather, she loved because she was forgiven. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures.)
    21. Because she was justified by faith, she had peace with God!
      1. Jesus offered her rest, & she had received it by faith!
    22. This morning, maybe you can relate to this woman?
      1. Perhaps you are not highly regarded, or cultured, or well-to-do(as the Pharisee); but are loving, devoted, & grateful.
    23. Note also she had complete assurance of perfect pardon & resulting peace!
      1. Q: Was that just for her, or a promise to any who would come to Christ?
      2. Q: Have you experienced that blessed assurance?
    24. As Christ’s love seemed to be a giant magnet attracting to itself steel shavings, at the same time it was failing to make any effect on some plastic shavings next to it. (Adapted from Griffith Thomas; pg.132)
  3. SIMON A SINNER! (39-47)
    1. ​​​​​​​Simon’s Assumptions!
    2. We catch now Simon’s attitude(doubts) about Jesus. (39)
      1. Simon says this “sotto voce” (sato-vochee) (Italian for “under the voice”)
        1. In a soft voice, so as not to be overheard.
    3. [1] A prophet should be able to have special insight into a person’s character.
    4. [2] A prophet would not knowing let an immoral woman anoint his feet.
      1. Conclusion: Jesus was not a prophet!
    5. Simon mistook Jesus’ way of rescuing from sin for failure to keep sin at a distance.
      1. Remember, Pharisee isn’t a Greek word, but adapted from a Hebrew word meaning “separation”.
        1. Their order was all about holding the people from mixture w/idolatrous peoples.
      2. ​​​​​​“Come on, aren’t you a little bit uncomfortable with a hooker smothering Jesus’ feet with kisses?”
      3. ​​​​​​​One saved from sin by love is softened by love; but one kept from sin by pride is hardened by pride! (Griffith Thomas; pg.133)
    6. To show His “true prophetic insight” he shows special insight into Simon’s character via a parable!
    7. Simon’s Parable!
    8. Jesus is saying I know you’re looking at this woman a great sinner & yourself as a little sinner.
      1. Like the other Pharisee who prayed “I thank you lord I am not like other men!”
    9. The creditor forgave them both!…so both should have been grateful.
    10. I suppose – reveals still no conviction!
    11. Simon demonstrates little respect & affection for Jesus, thus he will receive little forgiveness. (Outline Bible)
    12. Simon’s Debt!
    13. Simon said to himself, “she is a sinner”, but needed to say, “I am a sinner!
      1. Jesus argument: both Pharisee & woman were sinners!
      2. There was one way for both - via forgiveness.
      3. And there are 2 ways to love…little & much!
    14. The woman had outward sins of Commission which she recognized.​​​​​​​ Simon had sins of Omission. He didn’t treat Jesus w/either kindness or hospitality.
      1. She was guilty of sins of the flesh.
      2. Simon, sins of the spirit (a critical attitude, a hard heart!)
        1. Paul says in 2 Cor.7:1 “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
    15. (44-47) He talks to Simon over His shoulder.
    16. Interesting, to which of these did Jesus direct His severest words? To the gross sins of the flesh, or against insincerity & uncharitableness.
      1. Cold-hearted selfishness is the most terrible defect in human nature!” (ibid; pg.135)
      2. Penance, not pride, leads to pardon!
    17. Each should have been grateful based on what he had been forgiven, not based on comparing his debt w/the debts of others. (Shepherd’s Notes pg.29)
      1. Each of us is in debt to God, & is unable to pay because we are spiritually bankrupt.
    18. The 2 debts represent not the amount of sin, but the awareness of guilt!
      1. He was walking around with only $50 bucks of conviction!
        1. Some walk around with only $5 of conviction!
    19. The degree of our love & gratitude depends on our own estimate of the amount of that debt.
      1. You don’t have to be a sinful reprobate in order to appreciate the love of God.
    20. A man could be less a sinner than another, but may be more conscious of his sin.
      1. Then he would “love Christ most!”
    21. Simon saw himself as pure and righteous and therefore did not need to treat Jesus in a special manner. In fact, he did not even extend to Jesus the normal courtesies of that day. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures.)
    22. Simon’s Blindness!
    23. This could have been a life-changing experience for Simon, but he was too blind to see the truths involved.
      1. Simon, you are thinking, if I were a prophet, I should be able to know/perceive her. Simon do you see her?
      2. Simon you cannot see yourself, Me, or the woman.
      3. You cannot see this woman as she is, you can only see her as she used to be!
      4. Q: Is there anyone you hold in these same shackles of their past in our church today? (They shouldn’t be serving!)
      5. Can you look with Christ anointed eyes? [i.e. blind to what she was!]
    24. The atmosphere at Simon’s house(no water, no kiss, no oil) was just as disgusting to the soul of Christ as the atmosphere of a brothel…but again, He went!
    25. This morning, are you more like Simon rather than the woman?
      1. Q: Are you respectable, well-to-do, cultured, orthodox, of too good of taste to be wholly worldly – but nevertheless, lost sinners?
  4. JESUS THE SAVIOR!
    1. ​​​​​​​Q: Who was Jesus after in this story? (pause)
    2. Q: Who does Jesus love in this story? [both]
      1. Behind the 2 sinners stood the Savior: offering love, forgiveness, assurance, & peace.
      2. Jesus loved Simon just as much as he loved that woman. In Simon’s house he sought to open his eyes, & lead him into the light.
    3. Here we have a very religious man outside the kingdom of God, & an outcast finding forgiveness.
      1. Again the last became 1st, & the 1st last!
    4. Notice, Jesus notices neglect & he values adoration!
      1. Oh, come let us adore him!

Mother’s Day

One afternoon a man came home from work to find total mayhem in his house.

His three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house.

Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she may be ill, or that something serious had happened. He found her lounging in the bedroom, still curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.

He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and ask me what in the world I did today?"

"Yes" was his incredulous reply.

She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Luke 7:4". "Brian Bell Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cbb/luke-7.html. 2017.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019
Tuesday in Easter Week
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