February 23, 2016: Day 51 – Luke 7

There are a variety of stories and miracles that take place in Luke 7.  The nature of a miracle is that it defies our understanding of nature and the way that things are supposed to work here on this earth.  It is clear that a servant is not supposed to get well from mere words spoken on his behalf, a son is not supposed to rise from the dead while lying in a coffin just with a mere touch.  But this is what Jesus does.  These stories are related because neither the centurion nor the widow of Nain are part of the people of Israel.  Jesus reaches out to those who are not within the community, not within those who are considered the favored of God.  It proves to be another great example for our sake of how our reach ought not to be so myopic that we don’t see beyond our walls.  Our reach has to extend far beyond what we see or what we consider as being familiar.

John the Baptist wants to know if Jesus is the one for whom we have all been waiting.  But Jesus doesn’t give a straight answer.  If John wants to know who I am, tell him what you see.  Tell him about the miracles that you are experiencing.  My teachings and my words are crucially important, but my actions and my miracles are all signs that point to the Father.  Jesus then takes the opportunity to teach the crowds about who John the Baptist is/was.  It is obvious that he loves John the Baptist.  He calls him the greatest of those born among women.  Now that is a great reference to have if you should ever need one. 

He then shifts to the anointing of Jesus by the prostitute.  In Luke he doesn’t call her by name.  But he does point out to his host, Simon, how far he fell short in treating him with the respect that he was due.  It was a pretty sneaky way to say: She has washed my feet as any other household would do to welcome a guest, but you haven’t even offered me water.  Keep in mind this Simon is a Pharisee who was well known in town and so had something to risk by a prostitute coming into his house and wrecking the party that he is throwing for Jesus.  So he definitely does have something at stake.  Jesus puts him in his place, but also allows him to save face.  At the same time Jesus teaches a lesson on his ability to forgive sins.  He was able and he does.  Again people were not sure who he was.  

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