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Bible Commentaries
Luke 7

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "Now when he had ended all his sayings," (epeide eplerosen panta ta hermata autou) "When he had completed his address," following the ordination of the twelve apostles at which time he spoke the Beatitudes to them, Luke 6:12-13; Luke 6:20, and the church disciples.

2) "In the audience of the people," (en tas akoas tou laou) "In the ears (hearing range) of the people," in the open air, where He had been speaking to His disciples and a great multitude of people, Luke 6:17.

3) "He entered into Capernaum." (eiselthen eis Kapharnaum) "He went into Capernaum," the town where He resided through most of His ministry in Galilee, Matthew 4:13-17.

Verse 2

1) "And a certain centurion’s servant," (hekatontarchou de tinos doulos) "Now there was a certain (special) centurion’s servant," one of a special kind, though they were always commended as men of upstanding character, Matthew 8:5.

2) "Who was dear unto him," (hos en auto entimos) "Who was endeared to him," he was a Roman commander of 100 men, who was in much esteem with Jesus. The centurion was affectionately compassionate toward his slave, a thing not uncommon among the Romans, between master and slave.

3) "Was sick and ready to die." (kakos echon emellen teleutan) "That had become and was ill and about to die," with a critical paralysis or palsied condition; Matthew 8:6 described the ill servant of the centurion as "grievously vexed," apparently with contracting muscular and nerve seizures, at the point of death. Yet he was an highly valued servant to the centurion, loved by the centurion, as if he were his own son.

Verse 3

1) "And he heard of Jesus," (akousas de peri tou lesou) "Then upon hearing about or concerning Jesus," about His miracle working and healing deeds; When the reports came to him of Jesus, like the Syrophenician woman, Mark 7:25; and like the woman with an issue of blood, Mark 5:27.

2) "He sent unto him the elders of the Jews," (apesteilen pros auton presbuterous ton loudaion) "He, the centurion, sent or mandated to Him (to Jesus) that he might come and recover his slave," or his servant that was so dear to him, Matthew 8:5-6.

Matthew 8:5-6 represents the centurion as coming himself, yet this may have been as James and John are said to have petitioned the Lord, when they got their mother to actually do it for them, Mark 10:35; or as Jesus "made and baptized more disciples than John, though Jesus Himself baptized not, but His disciples," John 4:1-2; or as Pilate is said to have scourged Jesus, when and because he ordered it to be

done, John 19:1.

Verse 4

1) "And when they came to Jesus," (hoi de paragenomenoi pros ton lesoun) "Then when they came to Jesus," the elders among the Jews came to Him on behalf of the Gentile centurion of the Roman band.

2) "They besought him instantly, saying," (parekaloun auton spoudaios, legontes) "They appealed to Him earnestly, repeatedly saying," seeking help from Jesus, on behalf of the centurion and his sick servant, who was near death with a paralytic or palsied condition, Matthew 8:6.

3) "That he was worthy for whom he should do this." (hoti aksios estin hi parekse touto) "That he is worthy for whom you should grant this request," a worthy, reputable centurion; Centurions are always mentioned as respectable, reputable men in the New Testament, even when unsaved, Acts 10:22. They not only delivered the centurion’s message but also made an appeal of gratitude and compassion on his behalf.

Verse 5

1) "For he loveth our nation," (agapa gar to ethnos hemon) "For he loves our nation," with a high priority kind of love, with love that is genuine, without pretence, Romans 12:9. He had a "good name," that is better than riches and precious ointment, Ec 71; Proverbs 15:30; Proverbs 22:1.

2) "And he hath built us a synagogue." (kai ten sunagogen autos oikodomesen hemin) "And he himself built the synagogue for us," the one to which they belonged, one of the two then believed to have been in Capernaum, according to Josephus. He built it with his own money, is the basis of their appeal for Jesus to help the centurion’s dying slave. Herod had built the temple in Jerusalem, but this Roman centurion army captain had built the Jews a grand synagogue there in Capernaum.

Verse 6

1) "Then Jesus went with them," (ho de lesous eporeueto sun autois) "Then Jesus went in colleague with them," in a spirit of compassion and care that the Jews shared, Luke 7:3.

2) "And when he was not far from the house," (ede de autou ou makran apechontos apo tes oikias) "Then when he was not far away from the residence," of the centurion, where the servant lay critically ill, near death, Luke 7:2.

3) "The centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord," (epempsen philous ho hekatonarches legon auto kurie) "The centurion sent friends to him saying, Lord," or master, addressing Him with respect, dignity, and honor. This was the second message the centurion had sent out to Jesus.

4) "Trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy," (me skullou ou gar hikanos eimi) "Do not exist as a man who is worthy, but of a different race from you, not considered to be morally clean myself, according to your law, which I respect, Acts 10:28; Galatians 2:12; Galatians 2:14.

5) "That thou shouldest enter under my roof." (hina hupo ten stegen mou eiselthes) "In order that you should enter or come under the roof of my residence," to become defiled in the eyes of your people, the Jews, and I know it, Matthew 8:8; John 4:9; John 4:18; John 4:28; Acts 11:3.

Verse 7

1) "Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee:" (dio oude emauton eksiosa pros se elthein) "Wherefore I did not account or consider myself worthy to come directly to you," did not presume to be so forward and presuming, as an unworthy man. This is a desired disposition in the unsaved and the backslidden one, Psalms 9:12; Psalms 10:12; Luke 18:14; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5-6.

2) "But say in a word," (alla eipe logo) "But you just say in a word," which is enough for me, because I have faith to believe you can do it, and I desire it very earnestly; Jesus had already done this for the nobleman’s son at Capernaum, a thing perhaps known to this centurion, John 4:46-54; Psalms 33:9; Psalms 107:20.

3) "And my servant shall be healed." (kai iotheto ho pais mou) "And let my slave-servant be cured," made well, restored from his "nearness to death," by the word of your mouth, your Divine power, as witnessed Luke 4:36; John 11:43-44.

Verse 8

1) "For I also am a man under authority," (kai gar ego anthropos eimi eksousian passomenos) "For I am also a man who has been sent under administrative authority," to, act on certain matters based solely on my will and judgment, just as Jesus did, Mark 1:27; Luke 9:1.

2) "Having under me soldiers," (echon hup’ emauton strateitas) "Having under myself, (my responsibility) thus knowing the rules of obedience, soldiers," an hundred Roman soldiers, at my command to do my bidding. He recognized that Jesus, as the Son of God, had authority, John 3:35.

3) "And I say unto one, Go and he goeth;" (kai lego touto poreutheti kai poeruetai)" And I tell this one, Go; and he goes," as a well disciplined, respectful soldier. In essence the centurion was saying, I know that you have, hold, or possess powers over all diseases and derangements.

4) "And to another, Come, and he cometh;" (kai allon erchou kai erchetai) "And to another, come, and he comes," at my word or command, and I know that diseases will do just what you order them to do, as men also should, John 2:5.

5) "And to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." (kai to doulo mou poieson touto kai poiei) "And to my slave-servant Do this, and he does it," to the one specifically ordered to care for my physical needs, and he does it, as an obedient slave; Like Nicodemus he was already convinced that Jesus was from God, even though he was a Gentile, of another race, making a big request, John 3:2.

Verse 9

1) "When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him," (akousas de tauta ho lesous ethaumasen auton) "Then when Jesus heard these words (from his friends) he marvelled at him," at his fervent faith, his humility, and his persistent love for his critically ill servant, Matthew 8:10; as he marvelled at the faith of the Syrophenician woman, Matthew 15:28.

2) "And he turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him," (kai strapheis to akolouthounti auto ochlo eipen) "And turning to the crowd that was following Him, He said," directly to them to challenge their faith.

3) ”I say unto you," (lego humin) "I tell you all," very personally, for the only other time Jesus Himself is said to have marvelled was not because of faith but because of man’s unbelief, Mark 6:6.

4) “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." (oude en to Israel tosauten pistin heuron) "I have not found such faith as this in Israel," indicating a constant state of insubordination to the will of Christ, among even my own race of people, Matthew 9:2; It is much as also expressed Mark 6:6. His own people, those to whom He first came, did not receive Him with the faith and gratitude that He found in certain Gentiles, Romans 1:16; John 1:11-12; Matthew 23:37.

Verse 10

1) "And they that were sent, returning to the house," (kai hupostrepsantes eis ton oikon hoi pemphthentes) "And when those who were sent returned into the house or residence," the friends of the centurion who had been sent to meet Jesus, Luke 7:6.

2) "Found the servant whole that had been sick," (heuron ton doulon hugiainonta) "They found the servant cured, healed, or made well," Matthew 8:13, by the miraculous power of Jesus, that men might believe that He was the Son of God, John 20:30-31.

Verse 11


1) "And it came to pass the day after," (kai egeneto en to hekses) "And it occurred on the next day," the following day, the day after the healing of the centurion’s servant that was near to death, Luke 7:2; Luke 7:10. This is the only Gospel that recounts this event.

2) "That he went into a city called Nain;" (eporeuthe eis polin kaloumenen Nain) "That he went into a city that is called Nain," a small town or hamlet west of the Sea of Galilee, just south of Nazareth. This name means "lovely," It is the only time it is mentioned in the New Testament. Nain is located about 15 miles south of Capernaum.

3) "And many of his disciples went with him," (kai suneporeuonto auto hoi mathetai autou) "And many of his disciples went in colleague (close association) as his new covenant church band, with him," the company of His witnesses that He had called and chosen to be with, follow, and carry on His labors when He was gone, John 15:16; John 15:26-27; John 20:21; Acts 1:20-22.

4)"And much people." (kai ochlos polus) "And a huge crowd," followed them as they journeyed, perhaps returning to their homes throughout Judaea to the South, Matthew 6:17.

Verse 12

1) "Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city," (hos de engisen to pute tes poleos) "Then as he came near to the gate of the city," of Nain, near to the city entrance, not necessarily a walled city.

2) "Behold, there was a dead man carried out," (kai idou eksekomizeto tehnekos) "And behold one who had died was being carried out of and away from the city," Ezekiel 43:7; Ezekiel 43:9, for burial, to be buried, outside and away from the populace of the city, for sanitary purposes, to avoid ceremonial defilement according to Jewish law and custom, Jeremiah 2:7; Jeremiah 16:18; For Jews were usually buried the same day of their death.

3) "The only son of his mother," (monogenes huios te metri autou) "Who was an only born heir (son) to his mother," who was now left as a lone family member. Jews, Greeks, and Romans alike buried their dead outside the city. David’s case alone is an exception, 2 Kings 21:18.

4) "And she was a widow:" (kai aute en chera) "And she was (existed, lived as) a widow," a woman whose husband had deceased, with no earthly protector or supporter.

5) "And much people of the city was with her." (kai ochlos tes poleos hikanos en sun aute) "And a large crowd of the city was closely with her," showing respect, affections, weeping, and extending condolence, according to Jewish custom, as they came out from Jerusalem to console Martha and Mary, John 11:19; John 11:31; John 11:33.

Verse 13

1) "And when the Lord saw her," (kai idon auten) "And upon beholding her," and her broken-hearted condition, as she made her way to the burial of her only son.

2) "He had compassion on her," (ho kurios esplagchnisthe epi aute) "The Lord felt compassion upon her," as He was often "moved with compassion," caring for the sufferings of men, Matthew 9:36. Jesus’ own mother is believed to have also been a widow at this time.

3) "And said unto her, Weep not." (kai eipen aute me klaie) "And said unto her, Do not weep," or stop weeping, Luke 8:52; though He Himself wept at Lazarus’ tomb, John 11:35; being tempted or tested as we are, Hebrews 4:15. How much weeping Jesus has interrupted and stopped in this world by His compassionate words of assurance, John 14:1-6.

Verse 14

1) "And he came and touched the bier" (kai proselthon hepsato tes sopou) "And when he approached he touched the bier," Leviticus 21:1, which was an open coffin, with the corpse exposed, unafraid of being defiled, as when He often touched and instantly healed the diseased and unclean, Ezekiel 44:25.

2) "And they that bare him stood still." (ho de bastazontes estesan) "Then the ones who were bearing it stopped, stood still." Those carrying the corpse of the widow’s son out to the burying place stopped at the presence of Jesus.

3) "And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise." (kai eipen neanisle so! lego egerthete) "And he said, young man, to you I say, arise (get up)," Jesus addressed this young man much as He did Lazarus when He called him from his four days of resting as a corpse, John 11:39; John 11:42-44. What a word! He raised the dead in three cases with: 1) "Maid," 2) "Young man," and 3) "Lazarus ... .. Arise!" and they did, John 5:26.

Verse 15

1) "And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak." (kai anekathisen ho nekros kai erksato lalein) "And the dead man sat up and began to talk," obeying the command of the giver and sustainer of life, Acts 17:28; Matthew 11:5; Luke 8:54-55; John 11:44. Sitting up indicated life had returned and speaking indicated possession of mental faculties.

2) "And he delivered him to his mother." (kai edoken auton te metri autou) "And he (Jesus) gave him to his mother," alive again, evidencing His resurrection power when He shall call all the dead corpses from the grave, at the resurrection of the just and the unjust, Job 19:25; Luke 14:14; 1 Corinthians 15:52; John 5:28-29; 1 Kings 17:23; 2 Kings 4:36. Restoration to life was restoration to a broken home, as the new birth brings one into the family of God.

Verse 16

1) "And there came a fear on all:" (elaben de phobos pantas) "Then a fear came upon (or took hold of) all," all who witnessed the miracle beside the road, near the cemetery, just outside the city of Nain that glad day. Fear or awe took hold on or gripped all, a fear of reverence, as admonished Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Proverbs 1:7.

2) "And they glorified God, saying," (kai edoksazon ton theon legontes) "And they glorified God, saying," repeatedly saying, witnessing because of what they had heard and seen, Psalms 107:2; Acts 4:20; Jeremiah 20:9; 1 John 1:1; 1 John 1:3.

3) "That a great prophet is risen up among us;" (hoti prophetes megas egerthe en hemin) "That a great prophet has and is risen among us," even that prophet which was to come, Acts 3:22-23. Perhaps some were reminded of a similar miracle that Elisha had performed at Shunen, 2 Kings 4:1-44. Only Elijah and Elisha their greatest prophets had ever raised the dead.

4) "And that God hath visited his people." (kai hoti epeskepsato ho theos ton laon autou) "And the true God has visited his people," Luke 1:68; Luke 1:78, in this prophet, the Messiah, as witnessed by the hope of the Emmaus road disciples, Luke 24:19; Luke 24:21; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44-45.

Verse 17

1) "And this rumor of him went forth," (kai ekselthan ho logos) "And this word (or report) went forth," from Nain, like a wild prairie fire, fanned by an high wind, by its own power and influence over the masses, of what Jesus had done.

2) "Throughout all Judaea," (en hole te louaia) "In all Judaea," all the area of Judaea, from north to south, though the deed was done in Nain of Galilee, to the north, Luke 7:1; Luke 7:11.

3) "And throughout all the region round about." (peri autou kai pase te perichoro) "Concerning him, and in all the immediate neighborhood," of Galilee, perhaps including the area across the Jordan river, into Perea as well, as they had come to hear Him from all areas of Palestine, Luke 6:17. The special rumors appear to have been reports of His many miracles of recent date, with emphasis on the raising of Jarius’ daughter, the widow’s son of Nain, and the centurion’s slave that was so near death, Luke 7:1-16.

Verse 18

1) "And the disciples of John shewed him," (kai apengeilan loanne hoi mathetai autou) "And his disciples reported to John (John the Baptist)," who was then in prison, expressly explained to John the Baptist, Matthew 11:2; Matthew 11:4; Matthew 12:3.

2) "Of all these things." (peri panton touton) "Concerning all these things," that Jesus had said and done, which caused John to send two disciples back to Jesus for some direct testimony concerning His being the true Messiah, as follows:

Verse 19


1) "And John calling unto him two of his disciples,", (kai proakalesamenos du tinas ton matheton auto ho loannes) "And John upon calling two certain disciples of him," that they might bring direct testamentary evidence from Jesus, concerning His identity, in harmony with the law-basis of establishing evidence, John 8:17; Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6.

2) "Sent them to Jesus, saying," (epempsen pros ten kurion legon) "Sent (them) to the Lord, inquiring," in a more direct and definitive manner, for their faith in Him.

3) "Art thou he that should come?" (su ei ho erchomenos) "Are you the one who is coming?" Matthew 11:3; Zechariah 9:9, as foretold by all the prophets, as the Messiah-redeemer, Deuteronomy 18:15-18; Isaiah 53:1-12; Acts 10:43; Revelation 19:19; It appears that John may have expected Jesus to prepare to set up His earthly kingdom, restore the kingdom of David at that time, as so many did, Acts 1:6.

4) "Or look we for another?" (e allon prosdokomen) "Or may we expect another," one similar to you? The one I baptized that day in Jordan, when the spirit came upon you visibly and the Father spoke from heaven that you were His beloved Son, Matthew 8:15-17.

Verse 20

1) "When the men were come unto him, they said," (paragenomenoi de pros auton hoi andres eipan) "Then when the men came to him they said," the two whom John had sent, Luke 7:19; Matthew 11:2.

2) "John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying," (loannes ho Baptiste apestelen humas pros se legon) "John the Baptist sent us directly to you saying," to us to ask you personally, confidentially.

3) "Art thou he that should come?" (su ei ho erchomenos) "Are you the one who should come," Matthew 11:3; Hebrews 10:37. It appears that John may have been also hoping that Jesus would "get his act together" and establish His earthly kingdom, so prevalent in the minds and desires of even our Lord’s disciples and apostles, Luke 24:21; Acts 1:6.

4) "Or look we for another?" (e allon prosdokomen) "Or may we expect another?" one similar to you? as foretold Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:22-23. John had long languished in prison and depression seemed to have seized him, as the one who came to set "captives" free had not sought to help him.

Verse 21

1) "And in that same hour he cursed many of their infirmities," (en ekeine te hora etherapeusen pollous apo noson) "in that hour he healed many from diseases," that they had contracted, from physical ailment. Seventeen of our Lord’s 34 miracles were performed in healing physical illnesses. All this was done to fulfill the Scriptures, Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 8:16-17.

2) "And plagues, and of evil spirits;" (kai mastigon kai pneumaton poneron) "And even plagues or scourges and wicked spirits," demons, unclean, or deranged spirits; Six of our Lord’s 34 miracles recounted in the New Testament were in healing mentally ill or demon possessed people, Matthew 9:32-33.

3) "And unto many that were blind he gave sight." (kai tuphlois- pollois echtisato blepein) "And he gave sight (vision) to many blind persons," Matthew 9:27-31; Matthew 11:5. He granted the gift of sight to many who were blind.

Verse 22

1) "Then Jesus answering said unto them," (kai apokritheis eipen autois) "And replying he said to them," to those two men who had been sent by John the Baptist to inquire of His identity, Luke 7:19. Jesus in essence asserted that He had done and was doing specifically the kind of deeds that Isaiah had prophesied that He would do, Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 61:1.

2) "Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard;" (poreuthentes apangeilate loannen ha eidete kai ekousate) "You all go and report to John the things which you saw and heard," as first hand witnesses, Luke 7:21; Matthew 11:4. Do not just report what I have said, but also about what you have seen, with your own eyes as eyewitnesses, 1 John 1:1-3.

3) "How that the blind see, the lame walk," (tuphloi anablepousin choloi prtipatousin) "Blind ones see again and lame ones walk," Matthew 11:5; just as it was foretold by the prophet concerning the Messiah, Isaiah 35:5; Isaiah 35:7.

4) "The lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear," (leproi katharizontai kai kophoi akousin) "Lepers are (exist as) now cleansed and deaf ones hear," Lepers are cleansed and deaf ones hear.

5) "The dead are raised," (nekroi egeirontai) "Dead bodies (in corpse form) are raised up," to life again, Luke 7:14-15; Matthew 11:5. Dead people are raised up from and out of death, etc.

6) "To the poor the gospel Is preached." (ptochoi euangelizontai) "Poor people are evangelized," or have the gospel preached to them, Matthew 11:5; Luke 9:6; Luke 24:14. The poor were too frequently overlooked, but not by the Lord. For this is one of the announced purposes of His coming and being anointed of the Holy Spirit, Luke 4:18.

Verse 23

1) "And blessed is he," (kai makarios estin) "And blessed is (or exists)," as spiritually prosperous, Matthew 16:17; Isaiah 42:3; John 15:20.

2) "Whosoever shall not be offended in me." (hos ean me slamdalisthe en emoi) "Whoever is not offended in me," John 16:1; Matthew 11:6, or anyone who does not stagger or stumble because of me, 1 Peter 2:8. Because of my lowly birth and gruesome and ignoble death, Isaiah 8:14-15.

Verse 24


1) "And when the messengers of John were departed," (apelthonton de ton angelon loannou) "Then as the messengers of John went out and away," from Jesus, to report what they had seen and heard of and from Jesus, Luke 7:20-23.

2) "He began to speak unto the people concerning John," (erksato legein pros tous ochious per! loannou) "He began to say to the crowds concerning John," asking concerning John the Baptist, His forerunner, who had preached about and baptized Him, Matthew 3:1-7; Matthew 3:15-17; John 1:29-34.

3) "What went ye out into the wilderness for to see?" (ti ekselthate eis ten eremon theasasthai) "What did you all go out and away into the desert, wilderness, or uninhabited area to see, to gaze upon?" as recounted Matthew 3:1; Mark 1:1-8.

4) "A reed shaken with the wind?" (kalamon hupo anemou saleuomenon) "Was it a reed shaken (being shaken) by wind?" Is that all it was to you all? An unstable, emotional man of exciting deportment? Mark 11:7-11.

Verse 25

1) "But what went ye out for to see?" (alla ti ekselthate idein) "But what did you really go out to perceive," to look upon?

2) "A man clothed in soft raiment?" (anthropon en malakois himatiois emphiesmenon) "Was it a man who was having been clothed in soft garments?" Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6, no, but garments made of camel’s hair, a leather girdle about his loins, and who ate locusts and wild honey, found in the wilds of nature.

3) "Behold, they which are gorgeously appareled, and live delicately," (idou hoi en himatismoendokso kai truphe huparchontes) "Behold, those being dressed (who are dressed) in splendid garments and in luxury," in bright, splendid and costly raiment, in contrast with the rough apparel of John the Baptist, Matthew 3:4.

4) "Are in king’s courts." (en tois basileiois estin) "They are (reside) in royal palaces," or royal courts, decked with purple and fine linen, much as the rich man of Luke 16:19; Matthew 11:8.

Verse 26

1) "But what went ye out for to see? A prophet?" (alla to elselthate idein propheten) "But just what did you all go out to perceive? Was it a prophet?" Just another of many common prophets?

2) "Yea, I say unto you," (nai lego humin) "Indeed it was I tell you," Isaiah 40:3.

3) "And much more than a prophet." (kai perissoteron prophetou) "And considerably more than a prophet," for the coming of no foretold prophet had preceded John. He was a special prophet who had been foretold, Isaiah 40:3; Mal 31; Matthew 11:9.

Verse 27

1) "This is he of whom it is written," (houtos estin per! hou gegraptai) "This is the one concerning whom it has been and is written," foretold, Matthew 11:10.

2) "Behold, I send my messenger before thy face," (idou apostello ton angelon mou pro prosopou sou) "Behold I send (commission) my messenger before your face-appearing," Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 11:10.

3) "Which shall prepare thy way before thee." (hos kataskeuasei ten hodon sou emprosthen sou) "Who wilI prepare your way before you," before you come, or arrive, Malachi 3:1; Matthew 11:10.

Verse 28

1) "For I say unto you," (lego humin) "I tell you all," directly and plainly, to and before the masses, Luke 7:24.

2) "Among them that are born of women," (en gennetois gunaikon) "Among those who are born of women," of all people now existing on earth, Matthew 11:11-13.

3) "There is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist:" (melzon loannou oudeis estin) "Not one is (exists) greater than John the Baptist," among those then living, except Jesus, the only begotten of the Father, John 1:14; Luke 16:16.

4) "But he that is least In the kingdom of God," (ho de mikroteros en te basileia tou theou) "Yet the one who is less in the kingdom of God," less in gifts and powers, in the "kingdom of heaven," the church, Matthew 11:11 which exists in God’s domain, as restrictedly stated by Matthew. The least of the greatest (the church, Ephesians 3:21) is greater than the greatest of the least, the greatest one of the law order of worship.

5) "Is greater than he." (meizon autou estin) "is greater than he is," postionally, and institutionally greater, Matthew 11:11, for the kingdom of heaven, the church, or the house of God that Jesus built, is greater than the house that Moses built, or the program of worship and service that Moses established, Mark 13:34-35; 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:1-7. And John the Baptist was before, a preparer of the material, but never a member of the church that Jesus built. Therefore he was in a less position of honor than exists for the least position of honor in the church, bought by our Lord, so highly to be esteemed, Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25; Ephesians 3:21; Revelation 19:5-9.

Verse 29

1) "And all the people that heard him," (kai pas ho laos akousas) "And all the people who heard him," who gave heed to him, to what He said, obeyed His’ voice, believed in Him of whom John spoke.

2) "And the publicans, justified God," (kai hoi telonai edikaiosan ton theon) "And those who were tax-collectors justified God," or declared God to be just, in their confession, and following Him in baptism, as Savior and Lord, John 1:11-12.

3) "Being baptized with the baptism of John," (ebaptisthentes to baptisma loannou) "Being (and having been) baptized (immersed) with the baptism of John," Acts 1:21-22, the kind of baptism God sent him from heaven to administer, John 1:6; John 1:30-34; Matthew 3:6; Matthew 3:11; Matthew 21:32; Luke 3:12.

Verse 30


1) "But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God," (hoi de Pharisaioe kai hoi nomiloi ten boulen tou theou ethetesan) "Then the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected (turned away from) made of none effect, the counsel of God," Galatians 2:11, by John the Baptist, who counseled them to: 1) Repent, 2) to believe on Him that was coming after him, and 3) to bring forth fruit, evidence of repentance, Matthew 3:2; Matthew 3:8; Acts 19:4; Acts 20:27.

2) "Against themselves," (eis heautous) "With reference to themselves," treated with contempt or despised their personal needs to repent and believe on or trust in the coming Redeemer, not the law of Moses, to save them, Matthew 21:23-27; Romans 2:4-5.

3) "Being not baptized of him." (me baptisthentes hup’ autou) "Not being (having been), therefore were not, baptized or immersed by him," because they did not repent and believe on Him, as the savior, John 1:11-12; Matthew 3:7-8; Luke 13:3; Luke 13:5; Acts 19:4; Matthew 23:37.

Verse 31

1) "And the Lord said," (eipe de ho kurios) "Then the Lord continued his message," and said,

2) "Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation?" (tini oun homoioso tous anthropous tes geneas tautes) "To what then may I compare the men of this generation?" the Jewish one at hand, Matthew 11:16; Matthew 23:13; Matthew 23:24-25; Matthew 23:27-29; Matthew 23:33. Jesus used words of severity and sharpness against the religious leaders of Judaism only. He always spoke with pity to the masses of the common people.

3) "And to what are they like?" (kai tini eisin homoioi) "And to what are they like or similar?" in their behavior, their attitude, their conduct, in rejecting me, at the mouth of John’s preaching, and now at my own teaching and preaching, John 1:11; Matthew 23:37. To what may they as leaders be compared? is the idea raised, only to make the message clear to His hearers.

Verse 32

1) "They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace," (homoioi eisin paidiois tois en agora kathemenois) "They are about like children (under teenagers) in emotional mentality, impulsive, sitting in a market center," Matthew 11:16.

2) "And calling one to another, and saying," (kai prosphonousin allelois ha legei) "And calling (in complaint) one to another, who say," fault finding toward or against each other, complaining, murmuring, Matthew 11:16.

3) "We have piped unto you," (eulesamen humin kai ouk orchesasthe) "We piped (made music to you) and you did not orchestrate or dance about." The pipers are the Jews who found fault with John the Baptist, who would not conform to their formal, lax mode or manner of morals and ethics, Matthew 6:16.

4) "And ye have not danced;" (kai ouk orchesasthe) "And you all did not dance," to our religious music. Dancing accompanied Jewish marriage festivals, while loud mourning popularly accompanied their funerals, John 11:19; Matthew 11:17. This generation of Jewish leaders is a dissatisfied people, ever complaining, paranoid, fault finders.

5) "We have mourned to you, and ye have not wept." (ethrenesamen kai ouk eklausate) "Or you all are similar to those who complain, we mourned and you all did not respond by crying aloud, with weeping," The Jews were piously posing in long robes, disfigured faces, and long prayers, but neither John the Baptist nor Jesus was hooked on their veneer of religious hypocrisy. They would not "dance to the religious tunes" of the empty ceremonies and empty traditional forms of Judaism of the day, Matthew 6:2; Matthew 6:5; Matthew 6:7; Matthew 23:14; Matthew 23:33.

Verse 33

1) "For John the Baptist came," (eleluthen gar loannes ho baptistes) "For John (the immerser) has come," from God, John 1:6; John 1:33.

2) "Neither eating bread nor drinking wine," (me esthion arton mete pinon oinon) "Not either eating bread or drinking wine," as a separated Nazarite, wholly consecrated to God, according to your own law, Luke 1:15; Matthew 11:18; Numbers 6:2; Numbers 6:13; Numbers 6:18-20.

3) "And ye say, He hath a devil." (kai legete daimonion echei) "And you all say that he has a demon," is mentally and spiritually deranged, Their complaints were impishly impulsive, like selfish children at play, with each fighting for preeminence, Matthew 11:18.

Verse 34

1) "The Son of man is come eating and drinking:" (eleluthen ho huios tou anthropou esthion kai pinon) "The Son of man has come eating and drinking," as an habit, regularly, attending entertainments and feasts, as the wedding at Cana of Galilee, and the feast at Levi’s house, John 2:1-2; Luke 5:27-35.

2) "And ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber," (kai legete idou anthropos phagos kai oinopotes) "And you all say, just look at a man (who is) a glutton and a winebibber," Luke 7:36; Matthew 11:19.

3) "A friend of publicans and sinners!" (philos telonon kai hamartolon) "A friend of tax-collectors and felons or criminals," or associate of lawless people, Luke 15:2.

Verse 35

1) "But wisdom Is justified," (kai edikaisthe he sopia) "And wisdom is and was justified," wisdom from above, Divine wisdom, 1 Corinthians 1:21-24; Matthew 11:19. Both in the fruit of John the Baptist’s followers (disciples) and Jesus’ followers or disciples, referred to as children of wisdom.

2) "Of all her children." (apo panton ton teknon autes) "From, of, and by all her children," 1 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Corinthians 2:14-15, such as are wise in faith and obedient indeed, Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:19; James 1:22.

Verse 36


1) "And one of the Pharisees desired him," (erota de tis auton ton Pharisaion) "And a certain one of the Pharisees requested him," perhaps out of curiosity, extended an invitation to Him, That Pharisee was Simon, Luke 7:40; Luke 7:43-44; Not just any Simon, for nine different persons are called Simon in the New Testament.

2) "That he would eat with him." (hina phage met autou) "in order that he would eat or dine with him," as a Pharisee, much as the tax-gather, Matthew, who later became an apostle had done, Luke 5:27-35. This Simon is likely not the same as that one of Mark 14:3.

3) "And he went into the Pharisee’s house," (kai eiselthon eis ton oikon tou Pharisaiou) "And he entered into the residence of the Pharisee," accepting his hospitality, a thing the Pharisees repeatedly criticized, when He ate with Sinners, Luke 7:30; Luke 7:34. After all the Pharisees were also sinners, Matthew 5:20.

4) "And sat down to meat." (kateklithe) "And he reclined, as the guests did, for a meal," on his side, with His head toward the table and His feet extended outward, away from the food, making it convenient for the anointing of the feet, Luke 7:38. Jesus often accepted an invitation to a meal from a Pharisee, Luke 14:1. While Simon did invite and receive Jesus into his home, he did not extend Him any special honor at all, not even washing His feet, or giving Him a towel and water to wash His own, Luke 7:44.

Verse 37

1) "And, behold, a woman In the city, which was a sinner," (kai idou gune hetis en te polei hamartolos) "And behold a woman who was a sinner (a morally and ethically lawless woman) in the city," well known for her bad conduct, for her unchaste life, an harlot, a woman who had abandoned any upright character, yet a sinner for whom Jesus came to die and to save, Luke 19:10; Isaiah 53:5-6.

2) "When she knew that Jesus sat at meat," (kai epignousa koti katakeitai) "And knowing that Jesus reclined," for the meal, as an honored guest that day, just walked right into the house, as if she were accustomed to do so.

3) "In the Pharisee’s house," (en to oikia tou Pharisaiou) "in the residence of the Pharisee," where a festivity was made. It is not unusual for strangers to walk right in during a meal in Eastern countries and engage those who are eating in conversation.

4) "Brought an alabaster box of ointment." (komisas aiabastron murou) "Bringing (with her) an alabaster box of ointment," or a cruse, a flask, of precious kind and value, much as that brought by Mary to the home of Simon the leper on one occasion, Mark 14:3.

Verse 38

1) "And stood at his feet behind him weeping," (kai stasa opiso para tous podas autou klaiousa) "And she stood alongside his feet behind him as he reclined, weeping," Isaiah 52:7. Her weeping was doubtless out of conviction concerning the holiness of Jesus and the sinful unworthiness of her life, Hebrews 7:26; Romans 3:23.

2) "And began to wash his feet with tears," (tois dakrusin erksato brechein tous podas autou) "And with her failing tears she began to wet (wash) his feet," or prepare them for anointing. The sandals were put off at the door, so our lord’s feet were bare. The tears, a burst of tears, were involuntary, an expression of remorse from within because of her notorious life.

3) "And did wipe them with the hairs of her head," (kai tais thriksin tes kephales autes eksemassen) "And wiped them off with the hairs of her head," wiped her fallen tears from His feet with her hair. In delicacy Jesus did not look around or take notice, but let her do what she desired to do. Her tears fell like a thunder shower upon His feet, and she gently wiped them away with her hair.

4) "And kissed his feet," (kai katephilei tous podas autou) "And she affectionately (fervently) kissed his feet," repeatedly, Luke 7:45, after cleaning and drying them with the tears and hair from her own head, with love and affection, Luke 8:52; John 11:35.

5) "And anointed them with the ointment." (kai eleiphen to muro) "And she anointed (him) with the ointment," that was the alabaster box which she had brought, Luke 7:37. This was the one thing she had planned to do. The rest was done on impulse convictions, involuntarily. The ointment was a very precious, expensive kind, called (Gk. muro), not just a common anointing oil.

Verse 39

1) "Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it," (idon de ho Pharisaios ho kalesas auton) "Then when the Pharisees who had invited him saw it," saw what the unchaste woman was doing, in repeatedly kissing the feet of Jesus, after washing and anointing them, while weeping.

2) "He spoke within himself, saying," (eipen en heauton legon) "He spoke within himself or said to himself," not disturbed that the unchaste woman was showing sincere affection, unpretentious love toward Him. He imagined that he had made a shrewd discovery.

3) "This man, if he were a prophet," (houtos ei en ho prophetes) "if this one was (the) prophet," Luke 19:7, the one who was to come, he reasoned, and He was, Acts 3:11-12. If he were a discerner of spirits, as prophets were, 1 Kings 14:6; 2 Kings 1:3; 2 Kings 5:16.

4) "Would have known," (eginosken an) "He would have known," or have recognized, and He did, for He knows what is in man, John 2:25.

5) "Who and what manner of woman this is that touched him:" (tis kai potape he gune hetis haptetai autou) "Just who and what sort (of person) the woman is who is touching him," for a Pharisee would not touch an unclean person, as if she would defile Him, the Holy one of God. But Simon the Pharisee was thinking in the negative that the Holy Prophet and Redeemer would repel or push such a sinner away, but not so, Luke 19:10; John 6:37.

6) "For she is a sinner." (hoti hamartolos estin) "Because she is a sinner," an harlot, one of disreputable character, a lawless woman, in a moral and ethical sense, a prostitute, yet he as host offered no word of reprimand against her presence there that day. Had this Pharisee consorted-with her until he was afraid to raise one word of reprimand to her? Instead he imagined ill against Jesus, demonstrating that he himself had an evil imagination, was spiritually blind, and ignorant of the real purpose of the coming of Jesus, John 3:17; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Ephesians 2:12; Ephesians 4:18.

Verse 40

1) "And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon," (kai apokeitheis ho lesous elpen pros auton) "And responding (to the Pharisee’ inner thoughts) Jesus said directly to him," (Simon) "Simon," the Pharisee host, Luke 7:36. Our Lord thus showed that He was a discerner of thoughts, intents, and desires of men’s hearts, John 2:24-25.

2) “I have somewhat to say unto thee." (echo soi ti eipen) "I have something to say to you," in a courteous manner, chiding or rebuking him, as a friend to a friend, for kind reproof is of great profit.

3) "And he saith, Master, say on." (ho de didaskale eipe phesin) "Then he (Simon the host) says, teacher, or Rabbi, say it," or tell it, I have time to listen, I can take it, Proverbs 29:15.

Verse 41


1) "There was a certain creditor which had two debtors," (duo chreopheiletai esan daneiste tini) "A certain creditor had two debtors," two persons who owed him debts, who were indebted to him, as all men are to God, Acts 17:28; La 3:22, 23. God, our Saviour is that creditor, 2 Peter 3:9. The two persons (debtors) alluded to are Simon the Pharisee and the fallen woman.

2) "The one owed five hundred pence," (ho eis ophellen dnaria pentakosia) "The one owed five hundred denari (pence)," the fallen woman who had come to Jesus with such deep repentance, in grief.

3) "And the other fifty." (ho de heteros pontekonta) "Then the other fifty," only one-tenth that amount, a petty debt. Simon likely had no suspicion of a personal reference in the story. Yet he was that second debtor, who, if even saved showed but a minute gratitude to Jesus in comparison with what the fallen, penitent harlot had done.

Verse 42

1) "And when they had nothing to pay," (me echonton auton apodounai) "And they had nothing (no assets) to repay the debts," as man has nothing to repay his sin-debt, Romans 3:23; Luke 13:5; Romans 6:23.

2) "He frankly forgave them both." (amphoterois echarisato) "So he freely forgave them both," of their debts to him. Out of grace, with mercy and compassion, he forgave them both of their entire debts, remitted their debts as a favor of free grace.

3) "Tell me therefore, which of them will love him more?" (tis oun auton pleion agapesei auton) "Who then of them (of the two) will love him the greater?" show him the greater gratitude or appreciation? Romans 5:15-16; Ephesians 1:7. Just which had done it that day, Simon, who invited Him to the meal but was inhospitable after He arrived, or the notorious woman who had anointed Him with expensive ointment?

Verse 43

1) "Simon answered and said," (apokeitheis Simon eipen) "Responding Simon the Pharisee-host said," not realizing the spiritual truth or message, 1 Corinthians 2:14.

2) "I suppose that he to whom he forgave most." (hupolambano hot! ho to pleion echaristato) "I suppose that it would be the one to whom he freely forgave the greater amount of debt," little realizing that he was condemning himself, a normal, human conclusion. Even the Samaritan woman had showed her love for His forgiveness to her witnessing to many men of what Jesus had done for her, John 4:39.

3) "And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged." (ho de eipen auto orthos ekrinas) "Then he said to him, you judged rightly," Jesus accepted and applied Simon’s verdict, in an orthodox or sound manner of judgment; you concluded rightly. It was out of forgiveness of much sin and demon possession that Mary Magdalene was thereafter a devout servant and witness of Jesus through the rest of His life, and after the resurrection, Mark 16:9-11.

Verse 44

1) "And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon," (kai strapheis pros ten gunaika to Simon! ephe) "And then turning directly toward the woman for the first time, he said to Simon, the Pharisee host," to apply the parable. The woman was standing behind and at the feet of Jesus, where He reclined, with His feet outward from the table, according to the custom of the times.

2) "Seest thou this woman?" (blepeis tauten ten gunaikai) "Do you see this woman?" Of course he did, but he did not seem to realize what she had done, what the real meaning of it was, how a change had come in her heart that impelled her actions on this occasion.

3) “I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet:" (eiselthon sou eis oikian hudor moi epi podas ouk edokas) "I came into your house (residence) and you gave me no water for (to put on or wash) my feet," as a simple hospitable courtesy, that when ignored was practically an insult, a violation of common courtesy and Pharisaic rule, Genesis 18:4; Judges 19:21.

4) "But she hath washed my feet with tears," (oute de tois dakrusin ebreksen mou tous podas) "Yet this woman has wet (washed) my feet with tears," of real gratitude, sincerity, of contrition, at a great sacrifice of cost to her, according to her ability. She did it out of love, much love, Luke 7:42.

5) "And wiped them with the hairs of her head." (kai, tais thriksin sutes eksemaksen) "And has wiped them with her hair," the hairs of her head, Luke 7:38. Jesus pointed to the woman’s works of gratitude, that Simon had seen, to justify His acceptance of what she had done by faith. But when he dismissed or sent the woman away forgiven, in peace of soul, He called attention to her faith; One can see or recognize the faith of another by the deeds he does and attitudes he shows. For only in such is faith visible, James 2:14-26; Titus 2:14; Titus 3:4-8.

Verse 45

1) "Thou gavest me no kiss:" (philema moi ouk edokas) "You gave me not a sincere kiss," no common touch of affectionate or courteous greeting. You did not even give me a bowl of water and a towel to wash, clean, and rest my feet, Genesis 18:4.

2) "But this woman since the time I came in," (aute de aph’ hes eiselthon) "Yet this woman from the time that I came in," continually, repeatedly, with reverence and devotion.

3) "Hath not ceased to kiss my feet." (ou dieleipen kataphilousa mou tous podas) "Has not ceased to kiss my feet, repeatedly, fervently, with sincere affection," and "a tree is known by its fruit," Matthew 7:20.

Verse 46

1) "My head with oil thou didst not anoint:" (elaio ten kephalen mou ouk eleipsas) "You did not anoint my head with oil," with common oil, Psalms 23:5; Psalms 92:10, or wash my feet, Genesis 18:4; Judges 19:21.

2) "But this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment." (aute de muro eleipsen tous podas mou) "Yet this woman anointed my feet with precious ointment," a precious, valuable ointment, (Gk. muro) Luke 7:37-38, much like that of Mary, Matthew 26:12.

Verse 47

1) "Wherefore I say unto thee," (hou charin lego soi) "Wherefore (because of her acts of gratitude) I tell you," as a result of her faith expressed in her actions, Matthew 7:20; James 1:22.

2) "Her sins which are many are forgiven;" (apheontai hai hamartiai autes hai pollai) "Her many (acts of sin) have been and are forgiven," pardoned, removed, remitted or borne away, Ephesians 1:7; just as he pronounced forgiveness to the paralytic, Mark 2:5.

3) "For she loved much:" (hoti egapesen polu) "Because she loved much," I say it, for love is a fruit of the spirit of a born again person, and it is something that can be manifestly seen.

4) "But to whom little is forgiven," (ho de oligon apheitai) "Yet to whom but little is forgiven or pardoned," or less is forgiven, as the debtor forgave the fifty pence debtor, Matthew 9:2; Matthew 9:5-6; Matthew 26:28. The underlying principle "much forgiveness, much love."

5) "The same loveth little," (oligon agapa) "He loves little," Simon had not even shown a little love. Or is less manifest in his gratitude, in his expression of emotional affections; yet even redeemed men need this forgiveness and intercession every day, Matthew 6:11-12; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2.

Verse 48

1) "And he said unto her," (eipen de auto) "Then he said to her," right before Simon, the Pharisee host, and all present at the feast, the first words He spoke directly to her in response to her faith expressed through tears and deeds, Luke 7:37-38.

2) "Thy sins are forgiven." (apheontai sou hoi hamartiai) "Your sins have been and are forgiven." This is blessed assurance! pardoned, remitted. It was a pardon from a former death penalty that hung over her soul, Romans 6:23; For He came to save such and redeem from "all" iniquity, all kinds of notorious sins, Titus 2:14. That Simon’s sins were ever confessed and forgiven is not known to the Scriptures.

Verse 49

1) "And they that sat at meat with him," (kai hoi sunakeimenoi) "And those who reclined with him," at the meal, in the home of Simon, the Pharisee, Luke 7:36, others of the Pharisee order of skeptics.

2) "Began to say within themselves," (erksanto legin e heautois) "Began to say to themselves repeatedly," 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, one to another, with raised eyebrow complaints, much as Simon had questioned our Lord’s accepting the tears, washing, and anointing of Jesus, Luke 7:39.

3) "Who is this that forgiveth sins also?" (tis houtos estin hos kai hamartias aphiesin) "Just who is this who even forgives sins?" Luke 7:48. The answer is, the Son of God, if only they had realized it, only He could forgive sins, Mark 2:5; Mark 2:7; Matthew 9:2; Matthew 9:5-6.

Verse 50

1) "And he said to the woman," (eipen de pros ten gunaika) "Then he said directly to the woman," as He spoke to her for the second time, Luke 7:48. He who had spoken about her now speaks assurance to her.

2) "Thy faith has saved thee;" (he pistis sou sesoken se) "Your faith has saved you," Luke 8:50. Your trust in me, as Savior, has saved you, not your sorrows, tears, sacrifice, deeds, or love --- not your good deeds, not your morality, not your ethical conduct, not your reputation, not your character, See? Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:4-5; Acts 10:43; Titus 3:5.

3) "Go in peace." (poreou eis eirenen) "Go out and away into a state of peace," with God and in your conscience, a peace sinners do not have. Isaiah 57:20-21, of heart, conscience, and soul, set free from the remorse and condemnation of former sins and unbelief, Ro 51; John 14:27; John 16:33.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Luke 7". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/luke-7.html. 1985.
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