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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Luke 7

 

 

Verses 1-10

Luke 7:1-10. The Centurion's Servant (Matthew 8:5-13*).—Lk.'s version is peculiar through the introduction of two sets of intermediaries—Jewish elders and friends. Thus he keeps the Gentile centurion himself (as well as his servant) from contact with Jesus, and is satisfied with recording the esteem in which the pagan soldier (like Cornelius, Acts 10) was held, and the extension of Jesus' beneficence and His appreciation of faith beyond Jewry.


Verses 11-17

Luke 7:11-17. The Son of the Widow of Nain (Lk. only). This incident is conditioned by the reply to the Baptist's inquiry in Luke 7:22, "the dead are raised up." It is more difficult than the story of Jairus' daughter, and represents the intermediate step between that incident and the raising of Lazarus (John 11). There is no mention of "faith" on anyone's part. Loisy rather fancifully sees in it a symbol of Jesus' work in saving Israel. "The widow represents the daughter of Zion (Jerusalem) losing her only son (Israel) and miraculously regaining him through Jesus." May we trace the influence of 1 Kings 17:17-24 and 2 Kings 4:33-37? Shunem was within half an hour of Nain, a little town, eight miles S.W. from Nazareth, on a hill overlooking the valley of Esdraelon. Lk. may have known a tradition that Jesus had wrought a great wonder there. It is only here that he attributes the motive of compassion to Jesus.

17. the whole of Juda: Luke 4:44*.


Verses 18-35

Luke 7:18-35. John the Baptist (Matthew 11:1-19*).—According to Lk., John's disciples have access to him, and Jesus is engaged in works of healing in the very hour of the embassy. Luke 7:21 looks as if Lk. were bent on making the answer of Jesus (which may have referred to His moral and spiritual activities) into a definite reference to material signs. In Luke 7:26-28 the text may have been accommodated to Mt.; it has been suggested that we should read. "Yea, I say unto you: among them that are born of woman there is no greater [prophet (Syr. Sin.)] than John, yet he that is less [than he (Codex Bezæ)] is in the Kingdom of God greater than he." Lk. postpones Matthew 11:12-14* to Luke 16:16*. Luke 7:29 f. breaks the thread of Jesus' speech. It is not unlike Matthew 21:31 f., and is perhaps inserted here because of the word "justified" in Luke 7:35. The people and the tax-collectors declared that God's will as set out in John's proclamation of the Kingdom was right, the Pharisees and lawyers rejected it. The former acknowledged the Baptist's Divine mission, the latter denied it. Luke 7:31-35 read as in Mt., but note "ye" for "they" in Luke 7:33 f.


Verses 36-50

Luke 7:6-50. The Anointing of Jesus.—Lk. only; perhaps based on the incident (though not to be identified with it) recorded in Mark 14:3-9*, Matthew 26:6-13*, and introduced here in illustration of Jesus' friend ship with sinners (Luke 7:34). Simon the leper is here Simon the Pharisee; the abandoned woman enters uninvited and no one is astonished. Her tears forestall her intention, she even makes the sacrifice of letting down her hair in public. Note mg. in Luke 7:37. There is affection here, dignified reverence in Mark 14; "toucheth" (Luke 7:39) is really "clingeth to" (cf. John 20:17).

The parable (Luke 7:41-43) hardly fits the scene (cf. Luke 10:29-37*). Its point is that great forgiveness produces great love. The truth demanded (Luke 7:47 a) is that great love produces great forgiveness. Luke 7:47 b is thus irrelevant; it belongs to the parable side (so Montefiore). To make the whole of Luke 7:47 consistent with the parable we must assume that the woman had previously (through Jesus' preaching) repented, and received the assurance of forgiveness, hence her love and gratitude. "Jesus now confirms her assurance and publicly pronounces her forgiveness." Read "For which reason, because she has shown much love, I say unto thee that her sins have been forgiven." The woman's affection is the gratitude shown for the conviction of forgiveness (so Plummer, Adeney, J. Weiss, Loisy). In Luke 7:50 Jesus puts the emphasis on the woman's faith. She had heard that He was the friend of sinners (and of His new way of dealing with them), she believed that He could and would help her, and the miracle of her conversion was largely effected before she entered the house. It was completed by the power of His personality.

Luke 7:38. The verb "wet" used here and Luke 7:44 is frequent in the papyri for the irrigation of Egypt by the Nile inundation. Elsewhere in NT it means "rain."

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Luke 7:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/luke-7.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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