May 30, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Luke 7-8
Click here for the Daily Reading
Context: A Roman centurion who knew of Jesus asked for Jesus' help. The centurion respected the Jews, who in turn, advocated for him to Jesus. The centurion also held respect for Jewish traditions by acknowledging that Jesus would become unclean by entering his house. This Roman centurion had greater faith than many Jews. With the phrase "soon afterward" in 7:11, we learn that although Luke is recording events chronological order, it is not a daily diary. John the Baptist was in prison, yet he still had loyal followers. John was beginning to experience doubt. Life had not gone as planned for him, yet it went according to God's plan. John had done his job and delivered the message, even though many, including the religious leaders rejected the message because they were too focused on rules. The religious leaders criticized Jesus for not following the rules, yet they also invited Him to dinner. When they criticized Him for allowing a sinful woman to anoint Him, Jesus turned the tables on the Pharisees, for they offered neither respect nor honor for their guest but this poor woman showed both. Read our in-depth study of the parable of the Sower here. The lamp represents the Word of God. We are not to be restricted by family. We saw earlier the faith of the centurion. In comparison, the disciples showed their lack of faith on the boat. Jesus was with them. They were safe, for Jesus' work was not yet complete. Having a herd of pigs indicates Gentiles, as pigs are unclean. Before leaving, the man cured of the demon asks to come with Jesus, but Jesus told him to return home. Following Christ requires something different from each of us. A ruler of a synagogue is reduced to a beggar for his daughter of 12. A woman who has been bleeding 12 years had such faith that simply touching the edge of Jesus' cloak would heal her.
World History: A Roman centurion is one of respect and authority. They are in command of 100 soldiers. When the Pharisees hosted a public dinner for Jesus, the public could enter the house and stand along the walls begging for food. A woman who is bleeding is considered unclean. Someone who had been bleeding for 12 years would have been an exile.